All Grown Up

Daily Writing Prompt: All Grown Up: When was the first time you really felt like a grown up (if ever)?

The light bulb flickered above my head. Flashes of adult decisions loomed nearby. I refused to screw the light bulb in tighter because if I did, the beam of light would be constant. And then I’d be an adult. Making adult decisions every day instead of just moments in time when the light flickered, and I pretended to be an adult, for just a moment in time, and then I regressed back to naivetĂ©.

Who really wants to grow up? Doesn’t everyone want to be a Toys ‘R Us kid?

Even after I moved from out of my Mom’s house to Chicago, I still didn’t feel as adult-like as I should. The opportunities to blow entire paychecks here are endless: concerts, museums, tours, wine tastings, fancy restaurants, Blackhawks and Bulls games, Navy Pier, dinner and architectural cruises, beaches Sears Tower (yes, it will always be the Sears Tower for me. Deal with it), parks, operas, Millennium Park, too many stores down the Magnificent Mile, and way too many options to get drunk at way too many bars. And this is just the start.

In order to enjoy Chicago and the copious amounts of activities, how could I be an adult? The longer I stayed here in Chicago, the more I untwisted my light bulb: making fewer and fewer adult decisions.

Then, out of no where, a year passed. An entire year–365 days, 525,949 minutes of my life–gone. The most gratifying part: I wasn’t broke:

I paid my cable bills.
I paid my rent.
I paid my medical bills.
I paid my insurance.
I paid my electric bills.
I paid for my bus passes.
I paid my cell phone bills.
Never late.
Always early.

I bought a new phone. Because I wanted to be like the cool kids.
I bought groceries… and wasted more that I should have. My mom would be disappointed.
I bought too many take out dinners. How am I not fat?
I bought new clothes. What? I had nothing to wear!
I bought a ticket to a three-day music festival in summer. I hope I remember most of it!
I bought more wine that I am willing to admit. I swear I’m not an alcoholic.
I bought new books. That I still need to read.
I bought more candles than I need. And didn’t burn down my apartment!
I bought a plan ticket to Boston. Is it April yet?

I researched neighborhoods to move into in March.
I found a new roommate. (And a new apartment!)
I mastered the public transportation system.
I joined a Writer’s Group.
I volunteer at Big Brothers Big Sisters.
I didn’t die crossing busy Chicago streets in rush hour traffic.
I filed my own taxes.
I kept my job.

I AM an adult? When did that happen?

//Frantically tries to unscrew the light bulb.//

I kept twisting and turning that bulb. Just hoping. Praying. (Wait, I don’t pray.) That the light would flicker again. That I would be able to not care about keeping my life in order. Yet, all along, I WAS somehow subconsciously making good decisions.

Look Mom! I’m an adult!