Sunday, January 08, 2012

two-thousand-twelve: this is what adulthood looks like

i guess i missed the deadline for reflecting on 2011. oh well. i have already moved on. after a year of profound personal change, challenge, and growth, i am embracing the potential of this new year. this fresh start couldn't have arrived any sooner. if 2011 was defined by loss, introspection and the recognition of unhealthy patterns, 2012 is all about moving beyond these lessons learned and actualizing my desires.

one week ago, i began this year waking up in a very adult bedroom. this person's living space exuded a "i-totally-have-my-shit-together" aesthetic. even though i will likely never return to this bedroom, i was inspired by this monument of adulthood and see it as a metaphor for what lies ahead in my year.

i already feel like more of an adult now than i did in december. after working the last 8 and a half months of 2011 washing dishes at a cafe, i now find myself a very different situation. for the first time in my adult life i have a job where i am earning a living wage. when my roommate kyle moved back to his hometown in massachusetts at the end of december i took over his position doing food deliveries for big-shot catering company in philly. the material benefits have already manifested in the form of a workable (hell, even fancy) phone, a bike helmet that will actually protect my brains, pants without holes, and a new stylish winter jacket.

this is what adulthood looks like.

not the voracious accumulation of material possessions. i'm talking about the ability to provide oneself with basic human needs. over the past 8 years the inabilty to do so has, in many ways, preventing me from following my dreams. when you are stressing out about paying bills it is often difficult to go beyond that point, to realizing the impossible. we are trapped in a monthly loop of phone calls from debt collectors, piles of recycled warning letters, shitty food, and a psychological block around escaping this fate.*

on december 30th, appropriately, i worked my final shift at the cafe, closing out a challenging year of starts and stops, confusion and revelation. on january 6th of this new year, i finally submitted my application to goddard college's masters in individualized studies program. after months and months of talking about this plan i finally put it all together and sent it out. i will likely begin my graduate eduation next month with the program's week-long residency. and i will be one step closer to actualizing my dreams.

this is what adulthood looks like.

*[of course, i am just speaking from my own experience here. i have had the privilege of only needing to take care of myself (ie: not supporting a family) and also being part of a really amazing, supportive community of friends and family.]