My folks moved us cross-country to farm far away from the Los Angeles chaos in their late 30’s. As I approach that age myself, I can’t help but daydream about that move a little bit. From my ten-year old perspective at the time, my parents were GROWNUPS. The kind of grownups that knew all, could fix all, dressed and acted like parents and ADULTS, and had it all under control.
How is that I am turning 35 this year and don’t feel in any way an ADULT? Yes, we support ourselves and have a child but I don’t think we have it figured out in the slightest. I guess I am waiting for some magical moment when I will feel all grownup. No one gave me an adult membership card when I got married as I suspected the GROWNUP POLICE would show up and do….And believe it or not, the hospital staff sent little baby Mae Mae home with us bigger kids to raise. Couldn’t they see that we were just clueless kids, wide-eyed and scared shitless?
I was one of those kids that wanted to hear every word of the adult conversation in our house. What was everyone talking about? I wanted to know. I sat in the middle seat of our van growing up so that I could lean forward to hear and most of the time jump in the conversation. On trips, I sat in the front seat with the map. At the time, I thought I was giving great directions but I am sure now that Dad had previewed the map and was just humoring me. That time in the front did instill a love of maps and a hell of a sense of direction though.
I thought a lot about what it meant to be an adult as a kid….I had to carry a purse and drink coffee. That much I had figured out by ten. Today at 34, I gave up coffee years ago while trying to get pregnant and I am on a never-ending quest to find the perfect purse. I wanted to be an adult. Grow up and knock a few things off that to do list.
But now I have this nagging feeling that the path for the rest of my life is determined in these last few years of the 30’s…….That means time of introspection, daydreaming and an overall feeling that a clock is ticking somewhere. The clock that says my child-bearing years are getting shorter and WE NEED TO GROW A BIGGER FAMILY NOW. The clock that says….tick, tock….pick a path you like…….tick, tock…..you are going to be here for a while. People all over this planet reinvent themselves at all different ages but I can’t shake this feeling that I have to figure it all out by the big 40.
Career……lifestyle…..home (need to own one)……babies……faith…..
Is this what happens when you near 35? Or is this just what is happening to me????????
I don’t mean to sound like I want to rush a feeling of adulthood. That isn’t it at all. It feels like time is slipping by so fast and yet I don’t feel all the changes. I feel physically older…sure…I am in the throes of motherhood. My body isn’t the same but I feel the same. I don’t feel like an adult but I must be…time has ticked away too fast and dropped me right smack in the middle of my thirties. How the hell did that happen?
Maybe adulthood isn’t the confident have it all figured out kind of thing I thought it was way back when. Maybe this is it.
Am I already here and I didn’t know?
Did someone forget to tell me?
Shouldn’t there be a sign?