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My mom used to tell me “you can wear that when you’re 25, you can go there when you’re 25, you can have that when you’re 25″. To her 25 was grown-up.

Was I grown-up at 25? In some ways. I had a job, a nice car, had gone to New Zealand by myself and it was the year I met my husband. Did I feel grown-up? In some ways. I paid my own bills, had a strong network of friends, and truckloads of self-confidence. But I also hated my job and had been looking for a new one for half the year and had more rejection letters than I had interviews to show for it. I also rented an apartment with a male roommate, who, for lack of a better description, was a whore. Several nights during the week he’d have a different lady friend over and none of them knew about the others. The walls were thin and I often had to leave my own home for peace and quiet and to keep from spilling the beans that girl x was just one of many. Not necessarily a grown-up situation.

After my wedding shower, my mom told me what nice, grown-up and mature friends I had and how she realized I had become a beautiful  woman and was no longer a little girl. Those same mature friends made me wear a penis necklace at my bachelorette party and the day after our wedding my husband and I snuck away from the hotel and all our guests (and the group brunch) and had breakfast at a dive joint. Did I feel grown-up? Yes. Did I act it? Not so much.

It took several years, fertility help, a miscarriage and more fertility help for us to have our son. With that comes a variety of emotions and stress. My husband and I worked through it together and learned how much we really wanted to be parents. It brought us closer together and we made grown-up decisions. We still do, every day, especially now that we have two children. But on my 40th birthday (which was just last September and four months after I gave birth to our daughter), I puked in a cup and then kept on partying. I don’t recall that. I also pumped and dumped and only have a vague recollection of that. Did I feel grown-up? Yes, it was my 40th birthday, I felt old. Did I act it? Not so much.

I have oodles of examples proving I’m grown-up  but also just as many of not acting like one. I can’t pinpoint the moment I realized I was grown-up because it’s murky and tangled with so many other moments and memories, all making up my life and who I am.

To be truthful, part of me doesn’t want to admit that I actually am a grown-up.

I think I might go jump on the furniture now.

This was written for Mama Kat’s writer’s workshop, prompt 1 (inspired by my friend Tonya): The moment I realized I was a grown-up.



  1. I can’t believe you kept partying after puking in a cup. I would have been done for.

  2. Great post..and your 40th birthday celebration sounds like a LOT of fun…LOL

  3. I keep waiting for that moment when I look in the mirror and think, “wow, I’m officially a grown up.” But that honestly hasn’t happened yet. Maybe it never truly will. Until then I’ll go on making smart life decisions and having fun along the way. I really enjoyed this post C. : )

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