I know this is going to sound crazy but I turned thirty at the end of last month and I am living on my own for the first time in my life. Crazy right? To be thirty and “adulting” for the first time. And yes, I use “adulting” as a verb.
When I was in college, there wasn’t much off campus housing, so I lived in the dorms. After college, I moved home when everything spiraled downward in 2008 and I couldn’t get a job. I lived with my parents for a few years while working retail – so really I just slept in my parents’ home. Eventually I started dating a guy, fell in love, and pretty much moved in to his house (and though I fully moved in and changed my address once we were married, it was always his house).
Life takes some unexpected turns and when we separated I moved myself and my two-year old back in with my mother. I was incredibly grateful that she welcomed us with open arms. One of my biggest fears when my marriage was ending was where my daughter and I would go and how I would afford it. Bless my mother’s heart; I paid rent in the form of grandma/granddaughter time and K-cups of dark roast coffee.
Fast forward about eight months and I came to the realization that it was time. We needed to move out and be on our own. I needed to do it for us and for myself. I needed to prove to myself that I could handle the excitement and stress of doing it all by myself. I needed to show my daughter that I could be strong and build us a great life. With some help, I found an apartment, signed the papers and we moved in July 1st.
My own monthly rent payment. My own cable bill. My own National Grid bill. My own two bedroom, one and a half bathroom apartment. A place that my daughter and I call home. A place I can provide for the two of us. The day we moved in, I pretty much wanted to open the windows and shout: “Look at me world, I’m adulting!!!”
It’s taken me a long time to get there – 29 years, 11 months, and 1 day to be exact – and it feels great. Most of the time.
Even though I’m having this pre-mid-life, girl power, strong independent female awakening, I am still trying to figure it all out. I’m in a relationship with someone whom I adore and we spend the majority of our free time together. He’s amazing and so helpful and there when I need anything, but sometimes I feel as though because he’s helping I’m not doing it on my own. I know that accepting help doesn’t belittle my independence, but as someone who is just finding that freedom, I’m trying to hold on to it. How do we continue to grow our relationship while also maintaining and growing our own independence? How do we figure out the balance of wanting to spend all of our time together but also needing time to be alone? And not just being alone, but being alone with our children?
While I’m at it, how do I balance being a mom while working full time? What about cooking well-balanced meals? Cleaning the apartment? Beginning to potty train? All while trying to take some time for myself?
If someone has a magic eight ball that can answer these questions, I’d love to borrow it. But despite all of my questions and trying to “figure it all out”, life goes on. My relationship with my daughter will grow and blossom every day. My significant other and I will find what works for us. Potty training will happen at some point. Everything around the house always manages to get done. I do, and will continue to do, a lot of it on my own…but I’m also learning how to ask for help when I need it.
My name is Katie, I am thirty, and I am adulting. Look at me go!