An Innocent Milkshake, A Lesson In Adulthood

Do you guys remember when you started to feel like an adult? Those initial instances where you simultaneously lose a pound of innocence and gain an ounce of maturity?

For me, I have a few “aha moments” that I can readily recall…like the time my dad and I were enojying old-fashioned milkshakes at Peninsula Creamery in Palo Alto. I invariably went chocolate, whereas he was less prejudiced towards vanilla, and after we order he for some reason tells me that they don’t actually use chocolate ice cream to make the chocolate shakes but rather take vanilla ice cream and add chocolate syrup. How could the world do this? I was crushed.

Or how about the time (more recently, I admit) I stepped-up my toilet paper game and bought 16 rolls at Target. Seeing the neat stacks tucked away in my bathroom cabinet was so satisfying…like look at me, I have more toilet paper than I can stand, who’s a responsible adult now?

Another distinct moment happened when I recalled my social security number by memory for the very first time. Nine whole digits — that made me extremely proud. It’s not like you go around repeating your SS#, and I never actually sat down to memorize it, so the fact that it just came to me was an act of pure wonder. What kind of figures was I capable of recalling next?

Apparently, the answer to that is not that many, and no matter how much toilet paper I have in my possession, I still find myself plagued with feelings of inadequecy when I come up short on “grown-up” matters.

You see, this has been no ordinary month. I started my first ever full-time job, I re-claimed my Ford Focus from North Carolina, and I am in the midst of preparing my upstairs unit for our first Airbnb guests. I also performed graduation-worthy acts like ordering a Meyer lemon tree for a co-workers wedding shower and consolodating my savings accounts at the bank (apparently I had an army of 4).

Hello, accountability. Goodbye, Fridays at the beach.

My March calendar says “Turn over a new leaf”. I think I knocked over a tree. And with all these new changes has come a new wave of responsibility, adjustment, and introspection. Am I fitting in? Do they see my working? Where is Waze taking me?! I’m receiving health, dental, and vision coverage for the first time in my life, yet still need a tour guide when filling out a W2, and I berate myself for that.

Honestly, I’m overwhelmed. It’s exhausting trying to be a good friend, sister, aunt, employee, writer, host, culinary genious at home, social butterfly, zen princess, fearless adventurer…are you exhausted listening to me? You should be. But really, when everything unimportant and transient is stripped away, all you are left with is your relationships, and that includes your relationship with yourself.

So I think it’s time to give myself a break. “Trust the process,” as my sister always says. Settle in. Ask questions. Order take-out. Pop champagne. I’m not getting any younger, but I can get wiser.

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