“When Did We All Grow Up?”

My husband turns twenty-five today. He’s a quarter of a century old, and I’m not far behind.

And yes, I said “husband.” On September 27, we finally tied the knot in a small, perfect ceremony back in my hometown. It’s a word that I’m still not used to, and the thought of being someone’s wife just feels strange to me. I’ll be twenty-five in June, I have a daughter who will be two in January, and I’m a married woman. When I think back to just five or ten years ago, I would have never imagined that I would end up here. I didn’t think I would be married yet, and I certainly didn’t think I would have a child at this point in my life. Everything I thought I wanted back then is nothing like how my life has turned out – which is okay, because I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I love my family, I love my life.

Yet, sometimes it doesn’t feel “real” to me. It’s still hard for me to imagine being a mom, and I’ve been “mom” for nearly two years now. It seems like everyone around me is having a baby, getting married, or both, and it’s sort of made me realize just how far we have come from being the carefree teenagers we once were. My former classmates are constantly posting new announcements on social media and it makes my head spin.

I had a short conversation with a friend yesterday about all of these announcements and how everything is suddenly changing and she asked me, “When did we all grow up?” I’m wondering the same thing myself. It feels like just yesterday, I was sixteen years old and starting my first job. Time felt so slow back then, and I couldn’t wait to turn eighteen and go out on my own and be reckless and make mistakes. I assumed I would make the most of my late teens and early twenties: constantly making new friends, going to parties, hanging out at the bar until closing time, doing what I wanted, etc. I’d graduate college, get an awesome full-time job, and maybe by my mid-twenties, I’d find someone who was worth settling down with, and maybe by the time I was twenty-seven or twenty-eight, I’d be having my first child. Things happened sooner than that for me, and I can’t help but feel like the last six years since I graduated high school have gone by so quickly.

So, when did we all grow up? Was it when we all left high school and pursued other things? Was it when we all started moving out of our parents’ houses, getting places of our own, and paying our own bills? Was it when we all started getting full-time jobs, having babies, getting married – all of the above? Is there even an answer to that question?

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