Most of my friends are what I would consider “Grown-Ups”. After graduating from Georgetown, Jay and Stefanie got well-paying jobs working as consultants and bureaucrats in DC (I mean “bureaucrats” in the best, most envious sense of the word!). Fabien and David Childers went on to be PhD and Law Students while David An became a med student and Kari enrolled in Teach for America.
Humbly, I’m quite accomplished myself. I mean, I’m no slouch, but until this year, I have spent every year since I was 4 in school. I’ve never entered the “Real World”. Never have I worked 9-5 for longer than a summer. Never have I rented an apartment and cooked, cleaned, and paid my own utilities. Never have I had to weigh my options and decide on what internet provider I want. Never, until now.
Like Tom Hanks in Big, I find myself thrust into “Adult Life” this semester. I have a government job in the Ministry of Education and Science and I have my own apartment! I’m in communication with my landlady. I receive gas and water bills tucked into my door. I feel like a grown-up!
Now, to be fair, I’m not entirely sure what it means to be an adult. I always figured that it would take ownership of a child to make me feel grown up. I’m quite far from wanting or having a child of my own, but that’s immaterial at this moment.
Every day, I wake up at 7:30 and hit the shower. While I get dressed I put on some music or a podcast to liven up my morning. As the kettle comes to a boil, I open up the balcony and take in the sounds of the morning hustle and bustle. The teapot boils and I pour the water into my little floral mug with my plastic stirrer. I drink delicious Jacobs instant coffee. It’s called 3-in-1 and has powdered milk, sugar, and instant coffee. Delicious!
I take my coffee cup and my book and I head out onto my balcony where I read for thirty or forty minutes, sipping my coffee as it cools in the morning air. It’s getting colder now, and I usually have to wear a sweater in the early morning hours. As nine o’clock rolls around, I pack up my computer and pop in the iPod for the walk to work. I’ve been listening to audiobooks on my walk to work. I listen to podcasts as well or, if the mood strikes me, I listen to music and airdrum/dance my way to work. Several coworkers are aware of my penchant for solo-iPod-dance-parties. They’re jealous.
I sit behind my desk responding to work emails, using a work email account, and being a general busybody at work. (A side note: there is a poor passing-out man trying to manhandle his a bicycle down the street down Rue Saint-Denis. He is literally falling asleep standing up and has traveled, a grand total of forty feet. Odd….) I get an hour-long lunch break and return to continue sending emails and editing English documents. I’ve even got my own project at work that’s my brain child and responsibility!
I walk home in the evening, again, dancing or educating myself, and I arrive at my apartment and complete my chores and cook myself some eggs or pasta (a sadly limited repetoire). Also, I have a beard again!
So in conclusion, I am finally living the adult life. And I love it.
Cultural Importance: The Cultural Importance of adulthood, eh? I would say that it has a much greater personal significance than cultural, but nonetheless, I think that this step in my life counts as a 7 on the greater cultural importance scale. Yes, my own development benefits human cultural achievement.
Quality: 10!! I love my new life!
Ground-Breakingness: For me, this is hugely ground-breaking. I’ve never done anything like this before! I mean, I’ve had summer jobs of responsibility and (Getting helped down a staircase by a passing Canadian Samaritan) am not totally alien to the idea of being a grown human being. Nonetheless, first year not in school? Pretty important! 9.
Enjoyment: 11! I love it! It’s so much fun. I can see why people do it!
Would I Do It Again?: Um yes. Barring a future irreversible regression (PhD program?) I will happily do this anytime in the future!