Adulting

A few days ago, an old friend and I were talking about being adults over a couple of apple ales. In particular, we compared where we are in our lives today with where our parents were at the same age. I’m 31 years old. At this point, my parents were deep into the process of raising my older brother and me.

When I try to picture doing that, I’m awed by the amount of energy and willpower that must’ve taken. Chasing a fourth grader and a seventh grader out of bed every morning, making them brush their teeth and getting them dressed for school on time? My cats are the ones who chase me out of bed, though I do brush their teeth every day.

(Did I just out myself as a crazy cat lady? Well, if you didn’t previously know that I walk around with fake mice stuffed into my sweater pockets so I can entertain my little monsters at a moment’s notice, you do now.)

Proof. This is my life. (Though technically this is a stuffed fish.)

Proof. This is my life. (Though technically this is a stuffed fish.)

At first I rushed into a lot of adult-y things. My husband and I bought a house two years into our marriage, because conventional wisdom dictated that we were “throwing our money away on renting.” So we purchased a small bungalow on the South side of Salt Lake City (in the area locals fondly refer to as “Sugarhood”) in the fall of 2008.

That’s right: in September 2008. Our mortgage was upside down by 60K within a year, and we ended up having to short-sell the place a few years later. It wasn’t fun, but you know what? I’m not mad anymore. That part of my journey led to where I am today.

Right now I’m sitting in the library of the charming mini-Tudor home that my husband and I rent. It happens to be the exact same house that I grew up in, so naturally I feel more at home here than I feel anywhere else (except for Spain, I suppose, but that has more to do with my family there and is a blog post or ten for another day). Because we’re back to renting, we were able to afford for me to quit my job and focus on writing fiction. That never would’ve happened if we were still struggling to pay that mortgage.

These days, I’m adulting more slowly. I don’t care what the other people around me are doing, if they own or rent, how much they make, how many kids they have (and whether their kids are human or fur babies). I don’t make a habit of comparing my life with where my parents were at this age, except to occasionally marvel at how they pulled it off, and to feel grateful that they worked their tails off raising me.

The conclusion that my friend and I came to was this: “being grown up” is a bit of a myth anyway. In my mind I still feel like I’m 21 sometimes, and I imagine there are people much older than me that feel similarly. So let’s all just live our lives and be proud of our accomplishments.

Oh, and let’s feel okay about acting like children. For example, I just dug out my husband’s old Wacom tablet so that I can draw sweet stuff on my computer. Here’s what I drew this morning:

A self-portrait that will undoubtedly be famous one day.

A self-portrait that will undoubtedly be famous one day.

Until next time!