I’ve started calling this season “The Summer of Big Girl Decisions,” named for the surplus of opportunities to make choices that change the course of my life. As I approach the laughably young year of 22, I’ve attempted (blunderingly) to take ownership of the things and places I do and go. It’s a task I’ve taken for granted and down right neglected in my past fanciful ideals of adulthood, and it’s abruptly decided it will no longer tolerate being ignored. While I have been hitting the celebrated landmarks of apartment leases, raises, and new jobs with clumsy and enthusiastic execution, I’ve been practically hiding from the more between-the-lines objectives. I might pay my own bills, but I’m atrociously lacking in my ability to say the words “no”, “that’s not good for me”, and “I need to do this for myself.”
Last Monday I cancelled an international plane ticket, made a very painful family phone call, and brought my naive 5-year-plan back down to the drawing board. Choices that blurred the lines between selfishness and bravery taunted me with the weight of their consequences and the chilling clarity of their logic.
“I always thought adulthood would mean buying a dream house and travelling the world, not disappointing people and being broke all the time,” I said to my Mom in a phone call hosted by the Publix wine aisle. Keys rotated around my thumb habitually as I told her about the ups and downs of my work week, the painting I was working on, the treasures I’d found at my neighborhood antique trove, and the somber deduction behind the decisions I’d made that week.
This time around my growth spurt won’t be coming with physical or measurable assets, but it may just be it will be the best one yet.