Today I had an epiphany. Sort of. I realized I have become an adult. Kind of. It all started when I took my brother shopping for new pants this morning. I drove in my car that I realized was low in gas, so out of my money, I would have to pay to refill the tank. That was just the beginning. I owned my own car and got my own gas (though my parents paid for it) while I still lived at home too. No, it wasn’t until I was at the mall that I realized I am an actual adult.
I used to be shy. And even though I am not…in any way…shy anymore, in my own mind I consider myself a shy person because that was my identity for so long.
“Lauren, it’s okay to ask questions in class.” -Grade school teacher.
“Hey, you, you’re so quiet I don’t even know your name.” – Kid in my grade 7 class
“Lauren, you’re so quiet” – Kid in my grade 9 class.
“Lauren, why are you so shy?” – Kid in my grade 11 class.
I could go on forever. I was shy. I rarely spoke to anyone new. I would NEVER go out of my way to start a conversation with anyone I didn’t already know well.
Anyway. So, today. My 17-year-old brother and I were at the mall. He has a hard time finding pants that fit (don’t we all) so I was getting a little tired of our failed pant-finding attempts. Eventually, we got to one store that usually fits him well. The pants selection is so large I don’t even know what to do with it, and I’ve worked in retail. Anyway, I flag down some young guy who works at the store, and ask him for help. He gets my brother a change room and as I’m waiting outside for him, we start chatting.
He asks me what my plans are for the day. I tell him I’m shopping with my brother.
He asks, “Are you excited to go back to school?” And I assume he thinks I’m in high school, so I laugh and say,
“Well, I’m in university. So, kind of?”
He tells me he kind of assumed I was older than I look. I tell him, yeah, I get that a lot. But I’m 23.
Anyway, we keep talking, some other employees overhear that I’m 23. And, I understand that I totally don’t look my age. Especially when I’m out with no make-up, jean shorts, a baseball tee, and my ratty Vans slip-ons. So I end up talking to all these 18 year old employees for like, 10 minutes while my brother tries on pants. I even end up talking about my book and my university program and what I plan on doing afterwards.
So my brother bought his pants, and we left. And I drove home. In my car.
And then I went over to my parent’s house, and was bored. So I was like, “hmm. Let’s see what I can watch online.” And the TV show Degrassi has always been my guilty pleasure. Well, I mean, when I was 14 it wasn’t a guilty pleasure. But it’s a show directed at teenagers and…well…I just never stopped watching it.
So I open up MTV.ca and click on the Degrassi tab, and see that I’ve missed the last entire season almost. So I’m like, hey! That’s awesome! I can binge all these episodes now!
And I start the first two minutes of the first episode, and am like, “What am I doing with my life. I hate this.”
And then I realized. I don’t like Degrassi anymore because I can’t relate to it at all. I have no problem talking to employees at West 49 because I’m five YEARS older than most of them. I’m no longer intimidated by the “cool kids”
Yes. I know. That sounds funny. “you’re 23 why would you be?” But I feel like most of the people from my generation didn’t really…grow up. Or, at least, we didn’t FEEL like we did. Even after I was married. MARRIED. I didn’t feel like an adult.
But today, after all that, I realized how much I’ve matured in the past five years. I realized that talking to people isn’t scary. That part of the reason I loved Degrassi because of how much I wanted my life to look like the characters’ lives did on the show. As much as I want to admit it or not, I am getting older. And I know that in 10 years, I’ll probably look back at this post and laugh hysterically about how “mature” I thought I was right now. But it’s not that I don’t know I’m going to get more mature. I just realize that I have matured.
But honestly, I’ll probably still watch Degrassi tonight.