This is a thought I’ve had intermittently since I was a child: when will I feel like a grown up?
At first I assumed, it would happen when I reached 20. However, that didn’t happen. During my 20s, I was sure that it would happen at the next milestone: 30. But as my 30th birthday passed me by, I still felt the same. So I wondered: will 40 bring maturity? Surely it was bound to. Despite giving birth to three children between the ages of 30 and 40, regretfully, it didn’t.
Now I am in my 40s (early 40s), I am wondering whether 50 will be the magic age when I feel like a grown up. Surely at 50 I will feel ‘old’? But after the last few decades of waiting and watching the milestones wizz by without a change of inner grownupness, I have my doubts.
When I was at university, I came up with a theory which I enjoyed passing onto others. The theory goes as follows: there are three things a person must have achieved in their life before they can call themselves a true grownup.
These three things are:
- A mortgage
- A partner of some description (a long-term partner)
- A pet and / or child
I had achieved all three by my mid-20s (I had a cat), yet I didn’t feel at all grownup. So my theory had to change.
The new three things became:
- All of the above
- Grey hairs
- A preference for a glass of wine, a video and an early night over bottles of beer and a nightclub
My mid-thirties brought forth all of the above. But, damn it, I didn’t feel mature enough yet. The theory had to change again. So it did.
The new, new three things became:
- All of the above
- A preference for Radio 2 over Radio 1
- A perchance for clothing from Marks and Spencer
My early-forties is here and I think I am on one-and-a-half of the above (I’m not quite into Radio 2 yet, I prefer Radio 4 but I still like Radio 1). So is there hope for my revised theory? Do other people my age have these three elements in their life and feel mature as a result? I have, as of yet, not really felt inclined to buy my clothes in Marks and Spencer (and I can’t see it happening too soon either). Part of me hopes that I never reach that point. I still love Top Shop, I choose Zara over Country Casuals, and H&M is much preferable to Wallis.
I think the issue is that I don’t really ever want to be a grownup. Equally, I don’t want to be the embarrassing Great Aunt who dances in leopard print leggings and a boob tube at her Great Niece’s wedding. I haven’t yet got a Great Niece so I have at least two decades to work on preventing this scenario coming true. I hope that I settle in to a happy medium between the two (leopard print leggings and twin-set). I hope that even in my 90s (if I get that far) I remain, forever, still to some degree that ten-year-old me who enjoyed headstands, jumping in puddles, and Radio 1.
I’ll let you know (if blogs exist in the year 2061).