When I was 10 years old, my mum asked me if I wanted him to stay or to go. It was the first grown up question I had been asked. I maturely replied "I want him to go. We'll be better off without him". My dad never spent another night at our house again. I knew immediately that I had to become more responsible. I was aware that I was going to have to take care of my brother while my mum went to her part time job on Monday and Tuesday evenings. It was ok with me. I was willing to grow up a little for the sake of a more peaceful life.
At the age of 14, I got my first ever job at a corner shop. I would travel on the 207 bus to Acton every Saturday and Sunday morning to work for 1 pound 80 an hour. From this point on, I was financially independent & I learned how to manage money. I had a bank account with my own debit card and nobody knew my pin number but me. Even though I was only 14, I certainly felt like an adult.
At 17, I passed my driving test and the sweet sensation of freedom was pure bliss. The very day that I passed, I picked up my two best friends and we went to a posh (ish) restaurant to celebrate. Was it possible that I could be anymore adult than this?
I was 18 when I left home & moved 2 hours away into my student digs. I had my own dorm room, a set of dishes to call my own and was now responsible for buying things like toilet paper and dish soap. That was it, I was an adult now for sure! The bank sent me a visa and a mastercard and that was just the icing on the cake.
My actions over the next few years were not very adult-like. Drinking and partying 'til I had my head in a toilet was pretty juvenile behaviour.
But then I met Ryan and I was in a grown up relationship and things changed. We were making life-long plans & planning our white picket fence so now I was definitely an adult.
After the crash of that relationship, I went back to my old immature ways and continued partying like there was no tomorrow. I threw money around irresponsibly and never thought about putting some aside for the future or for a rainy day. I was more interested in living in the present than planning for the future. It was great while it lasted. But, now, I am in the future and since I had never planned for this, things are slightly grim.
Here I am now, 31 years old. Still don't have a pension plan, a mortgage, a car payment, a husband or kids. I have 2 wine glasses in the cupboard from the dollar store and none of my towels match. I don't have any bills in my name and my kitchen table is small, round and barely seats 4 people. I don't have a dishwasher and if guests come over to stay, there's no guest room and they're forced to sleep on the pull out couch in the living room where the springs poke you all night long. I don't own a cake baking dish or have a set of matching salt n pepper shakers.
There's still a long way to go and I am not sure if all of us will make it. I'm not even really sure what it means anymore. And most importantly, I don't even think it matters.