Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Growing up vs. being a grown up

I'm trying to figure out the point at which you make the transition from growing up to being a grown up. I can think of specific times in my life when I knew I was growing up - voting for the first time, getting my first credit card (and the subsequent debt), moving away from home, getting my first job post college, going back to school, and tending to my 401(k). However, even in my late 20s, I know I still have a long way to go. I don't own a car, so I don't have car payments to deal with; I don't own a house, so I don't have a mortgage to pay off. My 10 yr high school reunion is this weekend, which I will not be in attendance, and I can't help but compare myself with my classmates. Where are they now? Who else is still living in a rented townhouse with their sister and taking public transportation?

My parents are flying in today and will be in DC until the 30th. This is the first time they've been to DC to see us since we moved out East - Em in 2000 and me in 2001. I get to play hostess. I get to cook Thanksgiving dinner for them. I get to show off my city.. my temporary 'home'. I get to greet them at the airport and say, "Welcome to DC. Let me get your bags. We'll head to the hotel, but first, we have to wait 10 minutes for the next train." How grown up is that? Maybe my father will appreciate my frugality.

I heard awhile back that you don't truly grow up until your parents die. If that's the case, I want to live this Peter Pan lifestyle for as long as possible. Have I been fooling myself into believing I was mature when still act like a kid? So what if I don't own a car or if I'm throwing my money away by renting or if I have to start over, again, in the relationship department. I can only use each failed relationship.. each new apartment.. each rental car.. each chance encounter with a weirdo on the Metro.. as one step closer to maturity..to enlightenment. I grow each day and learn from experience - good and bad. I have no idea when I'll finally grow up, but I can only hope to enjoy the journey.. wherever it may lead me.


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