I remember when I started college my mom told me that over the next four years I’d constantly experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. She promised that even though the world feels like it’s ending today, tomorrow everything would be better than it had ever been before. That’s just the nature of things, the roller coaster of being a young adult.
It’s interesting now, as a 20 something with a college degree, how much my emotional roller coaster has leveled out. Trust me, I am by no means out of this rocky transition phase, but the highs and lows are less dramatic and come less often. Instead of every single day being the absolute best or the absolute worst, every day is good. Just good. Maybe this is what it means to be an adult?
I spend most of time trying to figure out what being a grown woman is supposed to look like. I walk into my office every morning at 9:00 am on the dot in my pencil skirt and blazer, hoping nobody else thinks I look as phony as I feel. I sit in on meetings and lunches and spend the whole hour making sure I don’t spill on my lap or slouch too much. I go to the gym some nights and read the newspaper on the metro. Most of my friends and acquaintances are coworkers and our outings consist of the occasional happy hour (where I chug glasses of diet coke and lime while my peers sip on sangria) and work related texts over the weekend. I’ve been married a year, I’m settling down, and I have baking pans that were not purchased at Wal-Mart.
A lot of the time I feel like everyone can tell that I’m really just faking it. It’s like I’m waiting for someone to come up to me and say “you know what Hannah, you gave it a nice try but now it’s time to fly back to your little college town in Utah and watch March Madness instead of going to class, ok?” Like everyone is suddenly going to figure out that I have no idea what I’m doing. Because isn’t it obvious? Doesn’t the woman at the bank know I’m just a kid? But nobody has caught me. Except the guy at the gas station around the corner from my house who had to teach me how to use the pump a few months ago – that guy definitely knows.
But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I feel like soon enough I’ll be able to pull out my iPhone to schedule appointments without feeling pretentious, because that’s what everyone does right? And I’ll get used to having my own health insurance and discussing 401ks won’t feel like having a conversation in Japanese. Handing out business cards won’t be embarrassing, and eventually I won’t remember how many months it has been since I graduated college because nobody will ask. I’m excited. This roller coaster life my mom described to me all those years ago will continue to even out until the next phase when I’m thrown for a loop again.