The Truth About Adulthood

Growing up, I’d like to think that I was taught a plethora of knowledgeable and practical things; crossing my eyes would lead to permanent deformation, using words like “plethora” and “practical” would surely secure a future of nothing more than cats and crocheting needles, coffee would stunt my growth, curse words would lead to teen pregnancy and that absolutely no one yet absolutely everyone was a moron. Lying would lead to a serious and incurable case of acne, chocolate was for grown ups, and sex would lead to a slow and painful death. Seriously.

I woke up this morning to the sound of birds singing in the cool fall breeze.

Scratch that.

I woke up this morning to my friend’s cat, rightfully named Meatball, gnawing at my big toe and mild to severe back cramps. Okay, so severe back cramps because in case the boobs didn’t already give it away, my body felt the need to kindly remind me that yes, I am in fact a woman.

I moved back to Illinois on Saturday. It’s been an adjustment.

I’ve purged three times since being here.

Scratch that.

As of about three hours and half a taco ago, I’ve purged four times since being here. That’s been an adjustment too.

I bathed myself in a stranger’s bathroom yesterday. That was more than an adjustment. Well, to be fair, he wasn’t a complete stranger but having only met him a few times, I wouldn’t consider him exactly close.

His water tasted like copper.

It was cold too.

As I stood beneath the shower head, bathing myself with a questionably clean wash cloth, breathing in fumes of limescale and lavender scented shower gel, I wondered if this was adulthood. Was this what the public school system had been preparing me for all those years?

You see, although I know I’m not old or anywhere near that for that matter, having turned 19 just a couple of weeks ago, I know that 19 is an awkward age- an age where although you’re not quite “adult enough” to legally get completely shit faced off overpriced Long Island Iced Teas in shady sports bars on nights where there’s nothing else to do, you are however “adult enough” to carry the responsibility of “being an adult”.

Adulthood comes with phone bills, seemingly endless searches for employment, reliability and

unwanted facial hair.

It comes with late-night grocery store runs, emotional phone calls, 1-ply toilet paper, stress acne, non-stress acne, second chances, reruns of Live With Regis and Kelly, embarrassing doctor visits, Midol, more Midol, family interventions, self help books, untimely boob itches, and self discovery. You see, adulthood is a strange thing- every syllable holds contradiction. It’s perplexing, it’s freeing, it’s debilitating, it’s


and nothing I wanted it to be. Adulthood comes with more life than you know how to live, more freedom than you know what to do with, more love than you know how to accept, but most importantly

it comes with showers in strangers’ bathrooms.

Because no one ever said growing up would be pretty.

No one ever warned me about this shit.


2 thoughts on “The Truth About Adulthood

  1. Welcome to reality. I mean Real, stinkful, painful, hungerful reality that doesn’t change. “Life is difficult. Once you accept that, life gets easier.” That’s a quote from “The Road Less Traveled”, by M. Scott Peck, an older book you wouldn’t like. There’s no secret passage, magic potion, motion, or lotion to take away the need for food, the aggravation of monthly cycles, or inconvenient acne.
    Some are able to notice what fellow beings do to survive or thrive. Others seem to be determined to rediscover that a pan on the stove will burn you hand, or that you Can get pregnant your first time. Most do a combination.
    I think you’re at that juncture where the skin meets the asphalt. We’ll put bandaids on the scrapes for some time, but it gets wearisome.

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