Growing up, I always believed I would be married (or at least engaged) by 22, and, at most, be a mother by 25. However, the older I get and the closer I am to those ages, I realize that I am not even close to being able to fulfill the duties of wife or a mother. I want to be able to secure a great job first , find a place to live and enjoy life for awhile by traveling and not being held responsible for other people. These thoughts are all propelled by the realization that the older I get, the more I realize how much our perception of adulthood changes. It is no longer just about freedom.
This summer is the second time I am nannying full-time for a family. While I am by no means their mother, I believe I can accurately say that the job of a parent is no easy one. I have to drive the kids to swim practice every day, prepare two meals and countless snacks, appropriately apply sunscreen at the pool, break up fights between siblings and play the role of the ‘bad cop’ when rules are broken. Besides, I am only taking care of them for around 40 hours a week, and they are both old enough that I do not have to change diapers. Simply put, for now I would rather just watch the show “Parenthood” than actually be a parent.
Adulthood also comes with endless bills. Long gone are the days when I dreamt of growing up as a romanticized movie. Now I feel my stomach drop when I think of all the bills I will have to pay in a few short years when I graduate and start my life on my own. “You have to pay bills for ALL of that?!” While I am drowning in a pool of college debt, I can only imagine what fun I will be having when attempting to pay it all off. For now, trying to come up with the money to pay for both my car loan and sorority are enough to handle and break my small bank. No thanks, but I am not interested in paying bills.
When a person is a teenager, they do not concentrate on how great they have it. Instead, it is human nature for us to fixate and yearn for what we do not have (the grass is always greener on the other side kind of thing). While I am sure that being an adult is awesome (and I cannot deny that college is in fact so much more fun than high school), I do know that when a person is a teenager life is simpler, which is something that will be taken away as the person grows older. And maybe, just maybe, I enjoy the simple life.
Perhaps my fears are completely rational, or possibly they are just the child in me freaking out over the fact that in just a few short months I will leave my teenage days behind and turn 20. I am not so sure that I am quite ready for my birthday, though, especially since my dad keeps reminding me that I will be halfway to 40.