Next month, I will be 38 years old. Thirty Eight. I physically feel every one of those years and the lines on my face show that I have lived them, but inside – inside I still feel like a 17-year-old kid. My imposter syndrome as an adult is set to high, so much so that when I’m shopping with my kids I sometimes wonder who thought I was grown-up enough to look after two living, breathing, mini people. I often relate more to the 16-year-old cashier at the checkout than I do to the other mums waiting in line with me.
Despite feeling this way, there are plenty of times I catch myself out being a real life, bona fide grown-up. Most recently it was when I tried to show my daughter how to do a handstand against the wall (remember those?) even though it has been a good 25 years since I’d last done one. I did this big, grand, “Stand back kids, this is how you do it….” Only to realise that my arms couldn’t actually hold my weight and buckled under me and I fell. ON. MY. HEAD. Yep kids, that’s how you do it.
When I really pay attention to it, there are plenty of other times my grown up-ness rears its head and reminds me that even though I might feel like a kid, I’m light years away from actually being one.
Here are some signs that you’ve crossed the border from free-loving youngster into fully-fledged adult…
You spend more time looking at homewares at the shop than anything else. The only shops I used to frequent as a teenager were the ones where I could find a new top/skirt/heels for that next night out. These days, I’ve swapped my love of the dance floor for that of my living room floor and the sight of a gorgeous rug is what really gets my juices flowing. The “ooohs” and “aaahhhs” of window shopping that were once reserved for perfectly styled mannequins are now uttered at the pricey displays in furniture shop windows. A trip to Ikea or Kmart where you scream, “But everything is SO CHEAP!” requires some serious restraint.
Quality where it counts: And by where it counts, I mean WINE. Gone are the days where I could smash vino out of the cheapest bottle (or box!) and deal with life the following morning. I have learnt, and learnt the hard way, that a better bottle generally equals an easier morning-after, so I pass the two-buck-chuck for a pricier bottle that of course not only tastes better, but won’t leave me wanting to stab myself in the face at 7am when the kids come running in.
Planning for THE FUTURE: As a young chicken, thinking about the future didn’t really span further than my weekend, but now I’m actually OBSESSED with real, adult planning for me and my family. I want ALL OF THE INSURANCE and I want it as soon as I can get my hands on it, mainly because it helps me sleep a little better at night knowing that many of the ‘what-ifs’ are covered.
Boasting about bargains: Once upon a time, I didn’t think twice about splashing my cash on something a bit fancy, but these days, things like swimming lessons, birthday presents and keeping a lifetime supply of strawberries in the fridge at all times take priority. When I nab myself a bargain, I feel like I’ve conquered Everest and want to tell ANYONE who will listen about it. “Nice top, Mel – is that new?” is always followed up with – “Thanks! It was reduced from $150 to $20 at DFO.” What have I become?
You question people who stay out later than 11pm: Who even does this? By 11pm you’ll find me in my pjs, wrapped in a blanket in my nook of the couch watching some trashy TV or looking at other people’s social lives on Facebook while shoving left-over Easter eggs into my gob. Last month us girls at Show+Tell went out for dinner and drinks and were high-fiving each other that we stayed out past MIDNIGHT and were able to do so without a tired, slow-blink in sight…and that was with full bellies, lots of alcohol AND heels. Impressive.
How do YOU know you’ve become an adult?