The Moment That You Realize You’re A Grown-up

“You’re such a grown up.” – My friend, Chris, commenting on an Instagram I took of furniture I bought at the flea market.

I knew that something in my life had changed, like, really changed, on Sunday night. That morning, I’d woken up with E at 6 a.m. so we could go to the Rose Bowl flea market in Pasadena to buy furniture for our new apartment. The trip there was a bit of a mess. We rented a U-Haul. Big mistake. We paid $10 for “VIP” parking. Not a great choice. We hadn’t bothered to rent furniture blankets, so when we brought our things back in the truck, we could hear all of that antique wood clunking together as we took the bumpy road home. Did I mention I only had one cup of coffee before we left…?

We got some amazing new pieces — an industrial coffee table, a dark leather bench, a 7-foot long kitchen table with benches. And E and I spent the rest of the day cleaning the apartment. I swept and swiffered, like the type-A nut that I am. And E unloaded the rest of our boxes and moved furniture. By the time 4 p.m. rolled around, I was slightly delirious from cleaning fumes, and the sun was trickling in golden light across all of our new furniture.

It was the first time since moving in that there wasn’t a moving box in sight. We could take our shoes off and walk around barefoot without worrying about all the dust blackening our feet. The empty bookshelves were filled, and everything seemed to have a place. It hit me when I was standing in the living room with E: We were making a home for ourselves. I was sharing a space with someone, and actually creating something with them.

It felt really good. Not just because we were standing in a room that, for the first time, actually looked like a place I wanted to live in, but because I felt grown-up. And I was excited to have that feeling of confidence and security in myself and who I was with. I’ve always said that I’m excited to turn 30, because my 20s, like everyone’s 20s, have been interesting, to say the least. But yesterday was the first time that I really felt totally satisfied and strong in my own skin. FINALLY.

Even as I type this, I feel a little ridiculous. I’m a 28-year-old grown-ass woman. Of course I’ve been a grown-up for a long time now. But I’ve never been at a point in my life quite like this, and it feels really good.

Did I just write an “It Gets Better” message? I don’t know, but just for good measure… If you have yet to experience this feeling, just know that IT GETS BETTER.