I turned thirty-five this month. I don’t feel thirty-five. I remember thinking my mother was thirty-six for the majority of my childhood and I definitely don’t feel old enough to be a mother…wait, I am a mother. I am married and someone’s mother and thirty-five years old.
I don’t feel twenty but I feel a lot closer to twenty than to forty. I have established myself in the world. I know who I am and am even considered knowledgeable about some things. I am an adult but that word has way too much baggage that doesn’t apply to me. I am still fun, young, free-spirited, and a little crazy.
Adults are serious and settled. Adults have it together and always behave appropriately in every situation. Adults are mentors and can teach you things. Adults are parental. I can’t be an adult, I am none of those things.
Then I hear “nobody feels like an adult, it’s the world’s dirty secret” and I realize that this is me. I find solace in this statement. It isn’t just my dirty secret. I am not a fraud and a failure because I am not an adult even though all signs point to adulthood. I just hope I can play the part and not try to stay young at the expense of the young.
This little secret is the reason that young adult groups are full of people in their 30’s, 40’s, sometimes 50’s. We never feel older than young adult and we hold on to that distinction for as long as people will let us. The alternative just feels wrong. Please understand that when you see me at the gatherings and think, seriously lady.
God grant me the strength to be an adult. God grant me the ability to feel like an adult. God grant me the serenity to know that it is ok to be an adult.