I don’t know that I really do feel exactly ‘grown up’, or even that I ever will. There have been light bulb moments at various stages though.
I remember during my first job out of uni, for at least the first two years I was not confident in my skill and ability at all. I walked through the offices wondering when the people I worked with would realise I was a complete fraud, wonder why they hired me and swiflty kick me out on my arse. It wasn’t until I looked back on some of the things I’d written or things I’d accomplished and thought ‘did I really do that?’ that I realised I must have been alright at it. I suppose the fact they kept renewing my contract, giving me promotions and increasing my pay should have been an indication as well.
Years later, having lunch with my ex-boss and filling her in on the job market in London and some of the challenges I’d faced since living here, she started listing all these qualities about me and things I’d done while I was there and it hit me – ‘Shit, you’re right, I did do all that stuff and I am good at what I do’. You see I suffer from one of those silly little personality traits where I don’t see what I do at work as anything talented, out of the ordinary or good by any means, it’s just my job. And it’s not until someone points it out to me that I realise that I’ve actually done it well or done something differently to the way another person might do. I’m great at seeing the achievements of others, but not so great at recognising my own. Makes going to job interviews quite challenging!
Looking back, there were probably moments I felt grown up during my time in that job – like the first time I wore a suit, hell, the first time I bought a suit, but I still felt like a kid at the end of the day and I guess that’s where that ‘feeling like a fraud’ thing came in.
Equally, moving to London, I thought I was just doing what any normal person would do until my parents visited and my Mum remarked on how impressed she was that I had done something so massive, with no support network and no real research and no prior planning. I just got on with it. I’m not saying I did anything extraordinary, as I know loads of people have done it, but I guarantee you, a younger me would not have coped.
There have been other times I’ve felt grown up – when I look back on photos of me at 18 (the age I think I am in my head) and realise I LOOK so much older now, the day I got engaged, my wedding day, the first time C and I talked about children but really – I still feel like I’ve got a lot to learn. Probably because I do.
You know it’s funny because I don’t feel ‘grown up’ but sometimes I do feel old. Not old, but older than I should feel for a 28 year old. Like when I feel tired and can’t handle my hangover, or when I realise that I can’t relate to 20 year olds because I have no idea what they are saying, or when an 18 year old walks into a pub and I think she/he looks like they’re about 10 or when my ‘little’ cousin started high school.
I wonder if I ever really will feel like a proper grown up or if I’ll just keep going through life suddenly having a moment where I think ‘oh shit, yeah I did act maturely in that situation’ or ‘oh wow that was a grown up thing to say/do.’
And in any case, I love the fact that sometimes I still act like a kid – I don’t ever want to lose that adventurous side, or lose the silliness and playfulness that is a big part of our marriage, or lose the ability to learn something from a mistake I make.
This post was developed in response to today’s Daily Prompt.
1. My sister Robyn who is always such a big support to me. (This is not to say I’m not grateful to my whole family, but today she gets a special mention because she deserves it!)
2. The fact I organised myself last night so I could get an extra 30minutes sleep this morning.
5. The fact C cooked food for me so I don’t have to do much when I get home.
Oh and before I sign off don’t forget to: