A very strange thing happened to me this past weekend.  I grew into adulthood. 

I know that a statement like that, in itself, seems strange.  But here’s why I’m surprised about the revelation.  I remember finishing at UB, thinking that there I was, 22, a college graduate, with my first ‘real’ job.  And those thoughts lead me to think that i should feel like an adult, but I didn’t. 

At all. 

I felt like society told me I was an adult but my adolescence was still shadowing over my life.  I’m sure it didn’t help that I lived at home with my parents in my childhood bedroom. 

Then in my mid-20s I went back to school.  And there’s nothing that makes you feel like less of an adult than college.  For the first time since I was 16 I didn’t work, I had fun, I travelled, I enjoyed life.  The shadow of my previous life was there, but it didn’t completely cover me.  I was paying for college this time around, I had made the decision to quit my job, I had made the decision to move 3,000 miles away.  Adulthood was creeping in.

I liken it to being a tree.  I was growing in fits and spurts, new branches growing, others becoming stunted, always leaning toward the light of the future, of the promise of the next adventure.  It’s as if within my body, I hadn’t quite solidified.  As if being young was like being liquid, forever changing and adapting, trying to discover what shape fit best.

After graduation I moved back in with my parents, moved in with my cousin, then moved out on my own.  Three months in NYC with no job certainly did not make me feel like an adult.  It made me question what the hell I was doing, could I ‘make it’ in the city that will eat you and then spit you out.  Discovering I could completely rely on myself, that I could handle whatever curve balls were thrown at me, made adolescence retreat even further.  I became less liquid, more solid.

And then this weekend, I trudged through the sleet and the snow to Port Authority to catch a bus to my cousin’s for the weekend.  My godson was turning two, a St. Patrick’s Day baby.  It was on this journey that it occured to me; I was no longer shifting, discovering, changing. 

I have solidified into myself.  The shadow of my youth has gone.  And finally, at 27; my late 20’s, have I become an adult.

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