Wednesday was my 31st birthday. I am making headway in my 30’s. I realize in a weird 2017 way – I’m kind of an adult. It came about all of a sudden. I never contemplated the transition. I always thought I'd wake up one day and have all my finances in order, a job, the foresight to run errands and turn off all the lights before leaving the house, I'd get up in the morning and only press snooze twice. No, becoming an adult comes from time, practice, making mistakes, and reflection. Here are some ways I came to understand myself as a kind-of-pseudo-barely-there-adult.
1. Wasting food bothers me.
When I was younger, throwing food away probably wouldn't have phased me one bit. In fact, I did it often. My mom made me sandwiches for lunch and I literally took them and threw them in the garbage. What a little shit. It's a whole different story now. I went to the Philippines back in 2012, and finally understand the impact of food waste. The people in the Philippines do not have the same resources us North Van folks have. They make do with what they have because they don't have a lot. They have to. They make their food last and they eat ALL of it, and I mean all of it. Wasting food is a total disregard for what other people don't and wish they did.
2. I shower everyday.
That might sound kind of weird, I never found it necessary until this year. I switched from antiperspirant to natural deodorant about a year ago. I feel much cleaner but I sweat a lot more. I'd take having healthy active sweat glands over breast cancer any day. I found that with using natural deodorants I need to shower more. I do lots of activities that leave me a sweaty mess so I need to be pretty on top of my hygiene. I used to think my parents were weird for showering everyday - sometimes more. Now it all makes sense.
3. I know what triggers zits.
This is a good skill to have. I know that if I eat certain things I will break out. Food items like dairy and sugar affects my skin. I try to eat these foods sparingly but when I do, I make sure to put as many preventative actions in place as possible: drinking lots of water, using face masks, getting lots of sleep, etc. The magazines were right about one thing. When you’re younger you don’t care all that much about what you’re putting in your body. As you get older, you realize that the skin is a good indicator of how healthy you are – it becomes important. Oh yeah, wear sunscreen.
4. I know my cycle.
A decade ago I would have been one of those girls caught off guard. Not this woman! I track it every month and have been for the past three years. I know what to expect and how to plan for it. It's not so much a disturbance now as it is something that happens every month. It's empowering to be kind of/somewhat in control of my body. When you're younger there's no sense of planning or the future and it seems easier to deal with these kinds of things as they come. When we get older, planning is a necessity particularly with issues pertaining to a woman's body. That kind of stuff can ruin your whole day if it's not under control.
5. I know what it means to “run errands” on a Sunday afternoon.
Sundays used to be for recovering from hangovers. It used to be all about brunch dates or sleeping in all day. Now Sundays are for organizing, catching up on outstanding tasks, working out, and relaxing. Sundays are for going grocery shopping or Home Depot for house maintenance things. Sundays are for a quick bagel and pepperoni stick with my sweetie. Sundays are for family dinners and tidying up the living quarters. Sundays are for starting a good week.
6. I don’t handle being late very well.
I HATE being late. I hate it. I am becoming more like my parents every second. I like to be at least five minutes early and I feel my blood boil if i'm late. I don't care if other people are late, but I really do believe that punctuality is a great way to determine someone's character. I like to have time to prepare and get ready whether it's before a spin class, meeting, or appointment. A friend who grew up as an athlete once shared the wisdom of being punctual while being a star athlete: "if you're on time you're late, and if you're early you're on time". I try to live by this philosophy, but star athlete I am not.
7. I’ve lost the romanticism with gluttony.
I used to be the girl who was all about pizza, ice cream, pasta - did I mention pizza? It was fun to go out and eat myself silly with my boyfriend now husband. I'm realizing that it never makes me feel good anymore. I feel guilty afterwards and realize that I don't have to indulge every single time. It's better to eat healthy and give my body what it needs instead of what it wants. My body can't handle all the food that comes along with dating. When you get married (or get older - whichever comes first), you realize that you don't always have to play keep up. I think women get it into their heads that they have to keep up with their significant others' eating in order to be accepted. Know what's acceptable? Knowing when to stop. I'd rather feel satisfied and healthy than overly full and under-nourished at the same time.
8. I drink tea.
I never really thought I'd become a tea drinker. I love coffee - I'm a black coffee drinker and have been for the last ten years. This year I've gotten really into non-caffeinated tea for the comfort of drinking something hot to keep me warm. Oh my gosh I'm an old lady, which also means I'm an adult!
Next week George and I are moving into our apartment together. We finally have a home to call “ours” and I’m still not able to wrap my head around it. In preparation for this next life step, I want to convince myself that I’m somewhat of an adult human. Being an adult can mean a lot of things: babies, a house, an age, or a turning point. It's not the same for everyone and it shouldn't be based on one event. Adulthood is a mindset, sometimes it only comes to fruition when least expected. Sometimes we don't get there until we get there.
Photo Credit: Harper's Bazaar Spain