I made it to work today! Woo hoo! And I promptly got milk on my dress. Time for the first trip to the dry cleaner. Why is that significant? Because...
I used to talk about feeling like I was 18 again when I was living with my parents. I felt sometimes like I had taken a huge step back in terms of being "adult". Even living in the apartment didn't help much because they still provided so much of what I needed. I exercised about as much responsibility over my life as a few teenagers I know: I cooked my meals and decided when to go to bed. I paid a couple of bills, but even that wasn't significant to me at times because if I couldn't pay them my parents were there to help me out. It was nice knowing that I was safe, but it wasn't "real". It was playing at independence.
Thinking about taking my dress to the dry cleaner leads to a lot of other thoughts. I don't think I ever made a trip to the dry cleaner when I was away at AU, 1100 miles from home. I don't think I wore clothes that needed dry cleaning much back then--if I did it was for a couple of hours on Sunday and I could stick them back in the closet. Then when I transferred to SFA, I was just three hours from home. So I could take clothes home occasionally and get them the next time I went home. I did this even when I was married. Even in my marriage, I played at independence.
It's not just the dry cleaner. It's the whole idea of being responsible for everything. When I was at SFA, I went out occasionally to eat or to the store. But most of my life revolved around school, even when I didn't live near campus, and school was always sort of a temporary thing. It was the thing that would prepare me for "the real world". Thinking about that logically, it doesn't really make sense. Does that make the "nontraditional student" who is a parent and going through a career change less of an adult? No. But having a job and being responsible for my own affairs is a sort of rite of passage for me. Christy isn't my mom, and even though she sometimes helps me with things it's a very different relationship because I don't feel like she is responsible for me. I don't know if that makes sense.
I'm starting to talk in circles now, so I'm going to close this entry and write more later.