Moving into your first real apartment with friends feels a lot like playing “house”. Except for the fact that the food isn’t plastic, the dishes actually have to be washed, and no one gets to be the dog. (Which, if we’re being honest, was the best part of the game.)
I’m nineteen now, which means I have officially survived my first year of being an “adult”, but for some reason I’ve never felt more like a terribly confused, little kid. Maybe this is because the last time I attempted to vacuum resulted in a glitter explosion in the living room. Or because I recently dyed all of my white sheets blue after overlooking a sneaky navy t-shirt in the washer. And, trust me, the list goes on.
But, surprisingly, I’m not actually upset about this.
When I was younger, I always viewed adulthood as the most excruciatingly boring thing that human kind has to endure. Maybe this is because I read Peter Pan way too much as a kid and actually believed that turning eighteen meant the end of all adventures and fun.
But here I am, nineteen years old and still having a pretty darn good time. (I realize that nineteen is still a “baby” adult and I have yet to face the actually hard things, but I do have to make my own appointments and that is really a struggle.) I think I’ve finally realized that growing older is different for everyone. Just because I can vote now doesn’t mean I have to abandon my wardrobe of striped leggings and polka dot dresses. And just because I can sign legal documents doesn’t mean I have to stop singing and jumping around to Taylor Swift every morning.
I’ve been waiting to feel different. To feel boring. To feel routined. But figuring out this adult thing isn’t really as monotonous as I pictured it to be. I mean how can life be boring when you’re covered head to toe in glitter and spotty blue clothing?
So now I do the dishes. But I make sure to use way too much soap so that the bubbles overflow and I can pretend I’m Cinderella singing to my reflection.
Now I do the laundry. But I wrap myself up in the warm sheets from the dryer and parade around the apartment for at least twenty minutes after like a walking burrito.
Now I can write professional sounding emails. But I take a break from this to add bumble bee tights and the Harry Potter series in French to my Amazon shopping cart. (The best part is, I don’t even speak French…yet.)
I never want to be a “grown-up”, because that implies that you’re done growing and that’s not something that I want to do. I’d like to keep growing. And obviously in the upward direction. Because the only other way is down and that would just be anticlimactic.
But maybe “adulting” doesn’t have to be all bills, and appointments, and boring clothes like I thought. Figuring it out can be messy, and colorful, and full of glitter. It can be difficult, and hard, and stressful, but it can also be a pretty awesome adventure. Because life is an awesome adventure and why the heck should that stop just because we turn eighteen?
Back when I first told everyone how excited I was to have an apartment in the city, they all thought it was wonderful that I was taking another step towards independence and into the big, ominous world of “adulthood”.
Little did they know, I was actually just excited to have a bigger space to build forts.