I left home at sixteen for a year. I came back at seventeen to finish grade twelve, then left again as soon as I could. I’ve never moved back since. Summers in between university were always spent elsewhere. I have wonderful parents, three younger siblings, and a beautiful, happy childhood home, so I certainly wasn’t fleeing from domestic discord of any kind. I guess I was just one of those kids who always dreamed of independence. I’ve always saved my money to be able to travel and, as I saw it, get out of there. I couldn’t wait to be on my own. Sure, some of the desire to leave probably had to do with my parents’ extremely strict rules and the fact that they lived in the boonies, I had no car, and there was no transit, so I was basically stuck there. When independence finally arrived, it was a glorious and exciting adventure.
I’m still giddy about how wonderful it is to be an adult. I love being an adult. I am so happy that I never have to go back in time and become a child or a teenager again, especially the latter, because those are rough, emotional years for anyone. Even though I’ve been more or less independent for ten years now, there are still days when I feel a surge of excitement at being able to do whatever the heck I want (within reason, of course!), whenever I want to. Sometimes it feels as if Jason and I are just playing at house because it seems too good to be true. This is what I love best about being an adult:
1. I do the grocery shopping, so I can decide what I eat for every single meal of the day.
2. There are always leftovers in our house and packed lunches are always amazing. No more overdosing on whole wheat/cream cheese/alfalfa sprout sandwiches (gag).
3. I determine the length of shower I wish to have. Oh, and I can have a shower in peace without sister and mother bursting in to use the toilet. And it can be really, really hot without fear of using up all the hot water.
4. Our house is usually tidy. I don’t have to put up with other people’s messes, because Jason is a neat-freak.
5. I always know where everything is because everything goes in its place and Jason would never think of putting it anywhere else.
6. I do chores when I feel so inclined, not because someone has asked me to do them.
7. The lone hairs stuck to the shower walls are always mine and bright red. I have a strange hair phobia, so this is a good thing.
8. Laundry never piles up beyond control in my house. It usually gets sorted, folded, and ironed promptly. You will never find a full basket of laundry that stays in the middle of the hallway until its contents have been completely raided by desperate early-morning dressers to the point of emptying the basket altogether.
9. I can drink wine in our house! And lots of it because J. and I are the ones who bought it.
10. I can throw loud parties in our house.
11. Being accountable to a husband is much different (and way more fun) than being accountable to parents. With my husband, I tell him where I’m going and when I’ll be back. With my parents, I used to have to ask if I could go, beg to use the car, and assure them there would be no boys around.
12. Ha! I have my own car.
13. I have a husband, who’s also my boyfriend, and we can make out on the couch while watching a movie. There’s no one to walk in on us late at night and no one to send him home.
14. I get to have sleepovers every single night. Fun ones… with a boy.
15. I don’t have to light a fire in the wood stove, or cook stove, or fireplace in order to feel warmth on winter mornings. Nope, our house has a thermostat that’s scheduled to kick in at 6:30 sharp. It’s miraculous.
16. I receive fewer lectures, though I don’t think my parents will ever give up entirely. They can still reach me by phone.
17. Instead of being told, “Straight hair makes you look like a witch and you’re wearing too much makeup,” I’m told by Jason, “I love it when you straighten your hair and you look fantastic.”
18. I drink coffee every morning and it’s made perfectly according to my tastes, with carefully frothed milk and a mocha pot.
19. The fridge is more or less clean and there is minimal decomposing food in the back. You won’t find mouldy, unrecognizable substances.
20. Items I was once forbidden from wearing: bikini, thong underwear, too-tight jeans, any jeans in public, tight shirts, makeup, padded bras, mini skirts. Now you’ll find all those items in my closet. Oh yeah, baby.
21. I don’t have to practice violin every day.
22. Music is loud, music is quiet, music is not always classical. And I can dance to my heart’s content, waltzing and boogying and jumping around with my little boys, who love every second of our impromptu living parties.
And to think that I’m going to enjoy this kind of freedom for the rest of my life because I’ll always be an adult! It’s almost too exciting to handle.