Writer ponders grown-up status

Roxy Hammond

Roxy Hammond

What is adulthood?

When I was younger, the thing I looked forward to the most about adulthood was being able to order my own pizza. Not having to beg Mom and Dad to do it or picking off all the mushrooms and other vegetables they ordered on it. I fantasized about the day when I could pick up the telephone, take out my checkbook and buy my own damn pizza.

Now I am 22, and I can have all the pizza I want. Unfortunately, it makes me fat. Welcome to growing older.

I’ve been having a bit of a young-life crisis lately. I am approaching graduation, moving away, being a big girl?and I am starting to ask myself-what exactly makes someone an adult?

Is it age? Maturity? Bills to pay? Marriage? Children?

What is it?

I thought when I approached this age, I would figure it out on my own. I would just ‘know’ when I was an adult. Oh, how silly I was.

And still am.

I mean, I hang out with a bunch of non-traditional students, some of which are approaching the age of 30. My boyfriend has a daughter, and my friends are dropping like flies to marriage (and divorce).

Sometimes, I feel like a baby.

I posed the question to my friends last week about what they thought made an adult. I got a wide variety of insightful answers.

Some said it was a matter of responsibility; others said it was coming of age. A few equated it to having a beer after mowing the lawn and driving their kids to school in a van.

It was this wide range of answers that made me realize that there is really no way to define adulthood.

There are a few contributing factors-like taking responsibility for yourself and how you treat others. But there really isn’t a point when you sit back and say, “Well, I’m an adult now!”

I won’t put on my graduation gown and pass into adulthood. Flipping the tassel to the other side of my cap will not mean I can handle myself in the real world. Nor will getting married, nor will having babies.

Some of us grow up in a trial by fire. Some of us absorb maturity from the good teachings of our parents. And some of us will successfully avoid it for our entire lives.

I remember faint feelings like this as I graduated high school and moved away from home. Now I look at my sisters, ages 17 and 18, and I realize that they still have awhile to go. Then again, so do I.

But more than anything, I think part of becoming an adult is realizing when you are not. It is realizing that you don’t know how to handle everything the world throws at you. That sometimes, reality just plain sucks. You no longer think your parents are stupid (like in your teen years), but you realize that they’re human. And you start to understand them.

Finally, the important thing isn’t reaching a certain age or milestone, but knowing that you always have room to grow. Even at the age of 22. Or 32. Or even 72.

And even when you can order your own damn pizza.

#1.882518:1072751925.jpg:Hammond, Roxy.jpg:Roxy Hammond, Sarcastic Cynicisms: