For the first time in probably a decade, I’ve actually felt my age. This is a pretty huge thing because I was starting to get the feeling I’d be perpetually seventeen. And now, finally, as I’m a month away from turning twenty-eight, I can’t help but think, “Only twenty-eight? How am I not thirty yet? This is weird.”
For the longest time I was emotionally in the same place. I learned a lot, experienced a lot, but still remained generally the same. Grew, sure. But I felt like the same person inside—although the years would pass by and big shiny events filled my life, I kept wondering when I’d actually feel like an adult. Like I wasn’t just going through the motions and playing the part of “grown-up”. It wasn’t until I had my daughter that everything finally caught up with me in one big rush. It happened so quickly that I hardly had a chance to realize what was happening.
Perhaps it’s the whole being-responsible-for-another-human-being thing that was my final push into adulthood. Even when I was pregnant, part of me couldn’t help but wonder if it was really happening. It was something I wanted more than anything in the world, but part of me still felt like a little girl who just wanted to a hug from her mom when she couldn’t sleep at night. I’d heard you could never feel fully prepared for motherhood, but I’d hoped when it actually happened it would at least feel like it was right.
Which it was. Which it is.
Flipping the switch from woman to mother means a hundred tiny little things in your life are no longer the same. In fact, your life is no longer yours. 24 hours a day I am at the beck and call of some tiny little person who, depending on her mood, will either give me the biggest grin in the world and rest her head sweetly on my shoulder, or will spit a mouthful of strawberries all over herself and then destroy every book in our home. But I have no doubt that her needing me so much is what has led to me finally feeling like I’m caught up. I no longer feel like a girl playing house. I have stopped feeling like I need to be rescued every single time things get to scary or too difficult. I’ve done so many new things, always with my husband by my side to keep me from drowning, sometimes with feelings of dread or worry or frustration, rarely knowing the odds of my success. But I’m sure of one thing: I am where I’m meant to be.
It’s like I woke up one day and my life was no longer a coming-of-age tale.
And it feels good to be here. I’m no longer a girl searching for some sort of missing piece. Life, as it is today, is it.