Growing Up

by Ginger on September 27, 2012

in Becoming Myself

I turned 33 a month ago, an age that should fully put me in the grown up category.

And yet, I still feel most days like I’m a kid playing pretend. I don’t know if that ever goes away–clearly progressing in my career, becoming a manager, having to pay bills, getting married, moving across country, doing my taxes, & having a kid haven’t made me feel grown up. And I say this as someone who has always been a bit of an “old soul.” If *I* feel this way, I can’t imagine how people who have always felt young at heart feel.

Every year, it seems like something happens, or we do something, that tries to drive the message of adulthood home even more. For example, right now we’re going through the process to try and get life insurance. I’ve got life insurance from work, but N.C. doesn’t have anything, and what I have at work will POOF disappear if this job ever disappears. So, time to grow up, call the insurance agent, and get going. We had our physicals this morning, complete with blood draws & weight checks & such…and yet it still just feels like pretend.

Another thing we’re starting to work on is some financial planning. REAL financial planning, not just “hey does my job have a 401k?” We’re meeting with someone in a few weeks to help us figure out some short and long term goals & how to get there. We’re looking at the future, and the financials, and seeing how it all works.

And yet I still feel like a kid, playing dress up.

It blows my mind sometimes that *I’M* the responsible party now. I mean, I’ve been responsible for a long time–I was never a really frivolous, frippery kind of person–but now I’m THE responsible one. I’m the one signing paperwork for finances, for insurance, for another PERSON.


Life sort of just keeps moving forward, and it’s clear that I’m going with it. But sometimes I look up and feel like I was only just 12 and suddenly I blinked and I’m this adult. I don’t feel young, and I don’t feel old, but I DEFINITELY don’t feel grown up. And don’t misunderstand–I’m not upset by this lack of feeling. I think in a weird way it helps to give me perspective on both my youth and on things like aging & death. In a way, I have to wonder if I ever DO feel like a grownup, if that will be the end of entirely too many ways of thinking about the world and my place in it than I’m comfortable with. Does the fact that I still FEEL like a kid help keep me from becoming too jaded by the world?

(whew, that’s probably a little more philosophical than I really was ready to dive into on a Thursday).

Anyway, yeah. On the outside, I’m doing lots of growing up these days. But just know that I feel like it’s all a big game of pretend. How about you?

Charleen September 27, 2012 at 2:14 pm

I absolutely agree. Not a grown up. Not at all. I’m less than a year from 30, and I still feel like a kid fresh out of college. Part of it is that I still want to go back, and I feel like my life has sort of been “on hold” since then… so maybe I’m sabotaging myself as far as that goes. But yeah, I really don’t feel like an adult. Most of my friends have said the same. I think maybe no one ever does, and that’s the big secret of adulthood.

Katherine September 27, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Why do you assume being a grown up has a specific feel to it? Accepting new responsibilities as they appear in your life is what I would consider being a grown up. It doesn’t mean your personality or interests suddenly change. Sure those things may evolve over time, but that’s natural at any age. I’m 33 years old and I pay my bills, don’t like clubs and I don’t dye my hair pink anymore, but that doesn’t mean there is less potential for having fun or lighthearted moments. Such is life.

Natalie the Singingfool September 27, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Yep, in some ways I feel like I’m getting younger even. Not more immature, just more carefree. It grates against the side of me that’s looking into retirement planning and buying a proper “family” car.

Erica September 28, 2012 at 8:34 am

I’m only 32, so. You know. Not an issue yet.

Classic NYer September 28, 2012 at 9:12 am

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women, merely pretend players.

nonsequiturchica September 28, 2012 at 12:25 pm

We went out and got life insurance on each other earlier this year and I felt super old. I thought that it was something only my parents did.

Jamie September 29, 2012 at 11:43 am

I know this feeling all too well.. being 30 now… granted, I still feel like I’m 18 and have that childlike mentality at times..

but other times it’s like, “whoa, I should probably start to think about retirement plans” and where I’m headed… and yet, I still feel as if I’m no where near where I want to be in life..

Uhm, where was this going? 😉 lol

Hope September 30, 2012 at 7:35 am

It still shocks me that I’m enough of a grownup to own a house and have a baby.

Jesabes October 2, 2012 at 10:14 am

The life insurance did that to me, too. It just seemed really weird to me (not in an “I might die” way, just in a “am I really the one who is supposed to be doing all of this? way.)

Kiyah November 1, 2012 at 4:53 am

I know this exact feeling. I just recently got engaged and my fiancee and I have both expressed concerns that we feel like we’re little kids playing house. My mom has a husband, his dad has a wife. It’s crazy to think that we’re going to start fitting into that category as well. I am glad to know we’re not the only ones out there that feel this way about growing up! lol

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