On Adulthood

Being an adult is hard. You know that whole saying “Don’t grow up, it’s a trap”. Yeah, I am feeling that a little today. 

Granted, yes, there are some grand benefits to growing up, and it’s those we see when we’re younger, and can’t wait to get out there, into the world, and command our own ship. I see it in my daughter, and in my friend, C. But, now, looking back, I can completely understand why my Dad wanted me to keep studying and not be so hellbent on leaving home early. Hehe. 


Anyway, I digress. I have thought about my adulthood a lot today. Mostly because life has forced me to spend a lot of this part of the cycle of my life, saying goodbye to things. Farewells have punctuated my evolution as an adult, even when I didn’t want to be an adult anyway. Whether they’ve been things that are good for me, bad for me, kinda okay, or not, it doesn’t matter. The sting has always lain in the farewell. 

Because goodbyes are hard work. They take a toll on you, and once they’re done you do feel a loss, even if it’s an unexpected reaction.

In my adulthood, I’ve had to say farewell to both my parents. I’ve had to say goodbye to people who I thought I could not operate a life without. I’ve had to say goodbye to my own naivetè. Sometimes I miss that part of myself but, adulthood forces you to be pragmatic.

But there is a wonder in the farewells, that exists far beyond the goodbyes. If there’s one thing that the word “farewell” has taught me, it’s that there is just a new beginning beyond it. Each of the farewells I’ve had in my adulthood have been directly tied to a new beginning. With the death of my dad, came the birth of my daughter, and with the death of my mom, came the start of my life as a family trio, with Shmooshy and my kid. Both of those things left an indelible mark on me, but they are significant of a cycle. 

As hard as it is to say goodbye, it can be even more unsettling to say hello to something. 

So, today, as I bid farewell to something that’s been part of my adulthood since I appeared in the doorway, wearing pink lipstick and a power suit, I am determinedly looking back with a smile. It has been a weird and winding road, but one that has supported and loved me towards this moment, even when I did not want to support or love it back. It has been difficult, and it has been kind. It has been the thing I have quietly relied on, and it has quietly relied on me. I am so grateful for the experience. It was the thing that let me learn, and then set me loose towards my own dreams. My nickname, for many years, in this situation, was Twinkle (for many reasons I cherish). 

As for adulthood, there’s a wonder in the farewell and a twinkle in the greeting. Let’s go find that twinkle. 



11 thoughts on “On Adulthood”

  1. More philosophical magic, Cath! 🙂
    Man, I don’t know how you do it without both your parents. I feel extremely extremely blessed every time I hear about both your parents leaving this life. Both of ours are still alive and kicking, and I’ve never actually said this… but I dread the day the start to go. It sounds horrendous, but it is the natural course of life. Just earlier for some than others. And I don’t look forward to it one bit.

    1. Thanks for your comment, James (I hope the airport wifi is being kind!)

      The truth is, no matter how “prepared” or ready we think we are, we never really are. But, I do promise, that the day it happens, I’ll be listening.


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