I am 24-years-old. This means I have (presumably) already graduated college, had three years of legal drinking experience under my belt, and have dealt with my first big “heart-break.” My friends would say that I have much more to explore in the world of binge drinking and sloppy sleepovers. My parents would say I should retire the belt and “mature” already. Where is the fine line between the two?
I feel I am in an adolescent crossroads. So often my friends tell me that when I am in a relationship, my partner and I turn into an old married couple, that I have to stop going out once in a blue moon and start drinking them. Then there is my parents’ perspective that I have been there, done that, and need to move on.
Let’s try to dissect my current dilemma:
Although I have graduated college, I still live with my parents. I do still go to my pediatrician, but I schedule my own appointments. I might be three years away from my first legal beer, but I am also three years away from my first bridal party invitation. The Disney channel is one of my top five networks to turn to, yet I go to Disney World for my professional distance learning conferences.
Some people still card me when I go to buy lottery tickets, and others tell me I should appreciate that since 30 will catch up to me sooner than I think. I act like a child; yet I can’t wait to have one of my own. I still wear my high school UGGs, but I buy Michael Kors flats when my paycheck comes in.
I still have movie nights with the girls, but we now finish two bottles of wine with each viewing. I still get extremely intoxicated, but my body just doesn’t handle it as well anymore. I have made friends at a million additional venues, yet I choose to hang with fewer people – only those close to me.
I think you can see my situation. Although I have not fully let go of the inner child, I have learned how to act less like one. So when should this whole maturing thing happen? Will I wake up like Tom Hanks in the movie BIG and realize one day that I have finally turned into a woman? Do I continue to frolic on the dance floor with my friends or become “fiscally and professionally responsible” as my parents would hope?
The answer is…. I don’t know. But, at least I can see that over time things do progress. My parents somehow found a way to stop calling my doctors for me so I could do it myself. I started navigating airports and train systems alone so I could attend work events, and I have traded in my SOFFE shorts for Calvin Klein pencil skirts. Plus, I think I should be given more credit for handling my own credit.
At the end of the day I am still only 24. I have the next (hopefully) 60 more years of my life to dedicate my time and money to my family. So for now I will recline on a lawn chair and watch this maturing process of mine go by with a Margarita in hand. Frozen, with salt please!