It’s the morning of September 24th, 2009 and I wake up for my normal morning routines (I don’t think you need a play by play here, do you?). As I look in the mirror, I think about how today is my 26th birth…..CUT!!!!!!!!
WHOA! 26th? Me, 26? How am I 26? I distinctly remember at 25 that I told myself I was going to just stay at 25. Turning 26 is a violation of my promise that I would not get any closer to 30. Ewww…..just looking at the number makes me feel sick. But here I am, almost 5 months into my 26th year. How did I get here so soon? It feels like yesterday that I was 21.
In all honesty though, I never originally wanted to be 18….everyone I know can see how THAT worked….I am clearly and visibly older than 18. But while a majority of kids at home were contemplating the magic age of 18 and leaving mommy and daddy and getting their own place, I suppose I was a bit abnormal. I always told everyone I knew that while they couldn’t wait to grow up that growing up was yucky. You had to pay bills, pay for your own food, a place to stay…..It was not as easy as everyone is making it out to be. Yes, I said that as a little kid. How did I know that being an adult was so hard? Well….I could see adults around me everywhere, hear them talking and I guess I actually heard what they said and I figured it out. I KNEW as a kid that being an adult was something that sounded very difficult and I was perfectly fine with staying a kid and making a permanent home with my parents.
Which is why when I turned 18, I was in no rush to leave the comfort of home. And you wouldn’t believe the amount of people after I turned that age that were all pestering my mom about me needing to get a job and move out. I see some parents that do that, rush their kids out and I am extremely thankful my parents didn’t do that with me. My mom is different too, like me…She was fine with the idea of me forever living with her. And I did up until I got married. I know that day was hard for her because my mom WAS different. My mom doesn’t enjoy having a house with just her and my dad. She misses me there, I know. And I miss seeing my mom all the time. Call me a baby, if you will.
Now that I am…26….ugh…..some may wonder since I knew at a young age that being an adult is harder, Do I now think it was harder than I ever imagined then? You may think I am a liar but no. It is AS hard as I always envisioned it to be, the whole paying bills and scrounging for money, getting by just barely. I saw THAT coming, maybe it was intuition, I don’t know. What I didn’t see about growing up back then is the little details that no one can possibly know. Like the fact that marriage is hard, but I did not know WHO I was going to marry when I was little, so there are difficulties I didn’t envision because of who I did marry. Living with a bipolar husband is hard to do and maybe in another blog I will discuss that more. I didn’t know that I was going to be diagnosed with thyroid disease as an adult and have problems as a result of that. I didn’t know as a kid that when I grew up the economy would be so messed up and I would have such trouble finding a job…..
So yes, I KNEW from a young age that being an adult was difficult, BUT I never knew then all the little extra details that would be thrown in to make it that way. And no matter how hard you prepare for anything in life, you can’t possibly know all the things your life has in store for you. Some things are great, some things are tragic, it’s a very bumpy ride, sometimes it feels like there’s more bumps than smoothness, but you have to hold on tight and try to not fall out too soon. Because there is the sad part…….sometimes your ride might end too soon.
I remember something the choreographer for A.C. Singers told me once when I asked her about aging. She said that you should be happy about getting older because some people aren’t afforded that blessing. Some people’s rides eject them too soon. 😦
Back to the morning of September 24th, 2009. I look in the mirror and grimace because I realize I am 26 then I think about people I knew that never hit that milestone. With tears soon to emerge, I look again and give thanks. It’s not just my 26th birthday and not just that I am 26. Today, I can say……I made it to 26.
Growing up IS hard to do but I wouldn’t exit this ride for nothing.