“I guess this is growing up.”

I’m at the age at which I know more people who are married, engaged or in very serious, long-term relationships than who are single like myself. On my social news feeds, pictures of diamond rings, black-tie parties and babies outnumber those of wild nights out partying.

It’s a weird feeling to realize you’re really an adult. Growing up as the youngest of three children and one of the younger cousins, I’ve always been one of the youngest people in the room. But for the past few years in social or professional gatherings, that’s no longer been the case.

I think I’ve always been an independent woman. In college, since my friends and I had very different schedules between classes, work, internships and other activities, I frequently ended up eating meals alone. I never minded it; rather, I kind of liked it. I often used the time to study or unwind from my previous class, or prepare for the next one.

Today, I typically run my errands alone – my way, on my time, at my pace. I prefer not to have to wait for someone else. Sure I’d rather not to have to lug all of the groceries from the car myself, but moving at another’s pace for an extended period of time exhausts me too.

When it comes to traveling, I always prefer to go alone. Having to wait on someone else is something that never interested me, and seems like a waste of time when time is most precious. But on the other hand, having a travel buddy is invaluable – as long as you have an understanding about your goals and itinerary (or lack thereof) for the trip. It’s been said that you never truly decide whether you get along with someone until you travel with them; I’ve seen this proven in my own experience. But that’s a tangent for another time.

The twenties have proven to be a time full of change, growth and learning. It doesn’t stop, and probably never will. This is the time to figure out who we are, what we want and how we’re going to get it. In the immortal words of Blink-182, “Well, I guess this is growing up.”

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