Posts Tagged With: learning to grow

Wait a minute! I’m a grown up?

I believe I’ve remarked before about how I sometimes don’t feel like a real adult…it could be that I haven’t written about it, but I know I’ve talked about it in day to day life.
Sure, I did do grown up things. Sure I had adult responsibilities, but I never really felt like a grown up. Not exactly “fake it till you make it”, more like “feelings follow actions”. So I acted like a grown up to the best of my ability.

The first time I officially felt like an adult was when Thing 2 was moved to the NICU. Sure I was already a mom, but I was a young mom and I was still growing up while I was being Thing 1’s mom.
The second time I felt like a proper adult was when I took my suicidal first born to the hospital. Leaving her there in on the adolescent mental health floor of the hospital was the hardest thing I’d ever done.

So far, both times I’ve considered myself a real adult involved leaving my babies in a hospital and going home without them.
Other things happen in life that make you feel like a real adult. Finding your first “real” full time job. Divorce comes to mind.
When my mother died, I didn’t have that feeling of being an adult. I think it was because I was experiencing shock and disbelief. I’ve since wondered if it’s because I was never treated like a grown up in my relationship with her.
The day my father died, I never felt more like a child but I’d never behaved more like an adult. Isn’t it curious how that works?

You know you’re an adult when people you know, respect, and love need important things from you. Help with children, support after a death in the family. A strong sounding board for the tough questions.
I was an adult when I stood in church surrounded by all the people I love most and pledged my life to YBW.
I was a grown up for my friend and mentor when her beloved died. And that realization just hit me.
Today, I did a real adult kind of thing when I had to write a recommendation letter for my friend in Arizona’s application to graduate school.

So it’s occurring to me the more I write this post that I really must be an adult.
It feels normal and natural, like the most comfortable article of clothing I own.
But I don’t always want to wear that, you know? Sometimes I want to wear impractical clothing…oftentimes in the form of shoes.
It feels like I’m still figuring out how to be a proper adult. It also feels like I’m still figuring out how to be me as an adult.
But the jokes on me, right?
I’m an adult.
And I don’t suck at it.
I guess I never realized that.
Perhaps I didn’t want to?
I’m not sure how I feel about this. And I guess that’s OK too. I can wear my grown up clothes, but put on my impractical non-adult shoes every now and then when I need to.

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a twisted desire to send a thank you note

Once there was a man that broke my heart.
When I say ‘broke my heart’, I mean he ripped out my heart while I watched. Then he stomped on it and kicked it into the corner where he left it for the dust bunnies.

In the aftermath, I was like a junkie without a fix. Shaking and wan, huddled in a ball. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I lost fifteen pounds and only left the house to go to work.

I was broken. I was absolutely pathetic. I believed I was completely unlovable. I was so far down the rabbit hole and I had no real desire to come out.

Then I met YBW. The first time we were together (after dating over the phone and via email and text for several months) he told me: I think I’m falling in love with you.
I didn’t know what to do with that. I wasn’t ready to say it to him. I was overwhelmed, but in a good way. In that moment I decided to trust him. To be completely open and ready for whatever we would experience together.

I would never have been ready to have YBW in my life if I hadn’t lived through that awful time. I would never have been able to trust him or expect him to trust me.

I thought briefly about the man that broke my heart earlier this week. He didn’t deserve me. I was a fool to share my heart. He knows what he’s missing. To be loved by me is unbelievably special. If he hadn’t convinced me that I was unlovable, I would never have been ready to love and be loved by YBW. I had to be dead empty before I could learn to love in an entirely new way.
I felt such gratitude. And a twisted desire to send a thank you note. (I didn’t and won’t.)

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