I feel like parents experience this with their children. You see them every single day and you don’t notice how much they are changing before your eyes. And then all of a sudden you blink and they’re going off to college. I hadn’t really been able to see all the changes that I have gone through since I graduated from college and set off to leave my mark on NYC. It wasn’t until everything I believed and thought and dreamed was tested that I was truly able to see just how much I had grown. How much I had learned. How much I had experienced.
Remember when we were in middle school and we would wake up one morning having grown three inches overnight? Weeks of growing pains and then finally, finally you’d wake up taller.
I’m obviously not growing anymore (although I am very grateful for those extra three inches I managed to squeeze out during college!) in the physical sense. But my, oh my… I’m definitely growing up.
This week has been tough in particular. The growing pains were beyond evident. Even though I wasn’t growing taller, I was certainly feeling the growing pains. I literally couldn’t sleep and I literally couldn’t stay awake. Have you ever been so tired, but had so much on your mind that you’re just at a loss when it comes to sleeping? The number of breakdowns I had was more than a little bit disturbing.
Twenty-three has not been the easiest year for me. Entire months (ummm February?) have been crazy stressful. Straddling the line of adulthood is weird. No one prepares you for what the Real World is like. Work, dating, friends, family, living on my own, figuring out what I want, discovering what I need… just, everything.
One morning, I woke up and felt grown up. I didn’t feel like I was growing up, I literally felt grown up.
My refrigerator had legitimate food inside.
I wore pajamas that didn’t involve an oversized college t-shirt.
Lots of serious decisions were made.
I don’t know if it’s normal or not, but I kind of have this “fraud” feeling all the time. Like, I constantly feel on the edge because I’m paranoid that people are going to figure out that I’ve fooled them… or something. I’m waiting for someone to realize that I’m not smart, that I’m not talented, that I don’t have whatever it is they think I have.
I have found a voice that I didn’t know that I had. And qualities that I didn’t know that I had. And even though this week was rough and sleepless and downright exhausting… coming out on top feels sweet. I am excited for what’s next and, honestly, proud of how much I grew up this week.
This weekend, I’m catching up on all the work that I didn’t get to. Most importantly though, I’m spending time with my friends! Long shopping trips and even longer brunches. I think the song from RENT is finally making sense to me in a way that it never really has. How do you measure a year? All of the little things certainly add up to big changes!
While I still have a few months until I’m officially out of this twenty-three-years-old tunnel, I’m feeling good about the light at the end of it.
Bring it on.
Do you feel like you have growing up to do? Have you ever had an almost-epiphany like moment where you realized that you were grown up?