22 and Still Growing Up

Every day I am learning that there is a lot more I have to experience. And I’m not talking about big milestone like marriage and kids; those are too far off for me to even think about. I’m talking about relationships, career searching, and facing the reality of moving away for real – not just for college.

I’ve always been a late bloomer, but I think this is about more than just that.

I had my first “adult” job interview just the other day. When I woke up that morning I was suddenly filled with dread at the idea of moving to a big city all by myself. And I was a bit perplexed by my alarm.

I lived in England for 5 months, but I’m afraid to move four hours away? Yes! England was temporary, and I always knew that. And everything was arranged through a university, so I had loads of support. Moving away this time would not be the same. I wouldn’t be coming home at the end of the semester. I would be signing a lease, making a commitment, and doing it all on my own.

The interview itself actually went awesome. I bought myself a fabulous interview outfit and felt like I was ready to take on the world. I was invited back for a second interview, but I called them back and told them that I wasn’t interested because the job wasn’t a good fit.

Never in a million years did I think I would be turning down job offers, but I’m still 100% certain that it was the right decision. I’ve never really rejected anything like that. It was terrifying, but also empowering. Yes, I still have a dead-end job in a deli and live with my parents. But I’m closer to knowing what I want and knowing how to go after it.

So much for all my stress about moving to a new city! But it got me thinking about how hard it will be when I move away, and about how difficult it is to interview for jobs in a city four hours away from where I live. Am I really ready to take on a new job and a new city all at once? And does it even matter if I’m ready or not?

Later that same day, I had another wake up call. For the first time in my life a boy told me that he likes me. I know, welcome to the third grade, that’s what you’re probably thinking. But, even though I was anticipating it, I had an adrenaline rush like nothing I’d ever felt before. Thankfully, he did not tell me face-to-face but over the lovely internet (don’t judge, it’s a long distance thing) because I was shaking uncontrollably, my heart was about to explode, and my body temperature rose about six million degrees. It got me thinking, if this little thing feels so intense, what the hell is kissing going to feel like?! And I might just roll over and die the first time we… you know. If it ever comes to that.

I know, this whole post has been rather scatter-brained, and you’re probably thinking “get to the point already!” Well here’s my point: No matter how old you get there is more to be experienced. No one has been through it all. Any day could bring something new. “Growing up” isn’t something that happens up until you’re eighteen (or twenty-eight!) and then stops. Growing up takes a life-time. No one is ever really done growing up. And that’s probably one of the coolest parts of life.