Dear readers (or hi, Mom!),
Recently, a close friend from college came to visit us in Dallas. She’d never been to our new house before. We’re always excited to show our Los Angeles friends our house because last time they knew us, we were living in a scrunched one bedroom apartment in Santa Monica with no dishwasher, no parking spot, and for a solid three weeks–no bathroom.
After driving home from the airport, we pulled into our garage. Garage! It’s the size of our old apartment.
She took in its glory. “Oh my God, you have so many rakes! This is so adult.”
I knew at that moment that I was a grown up. It wasn’t when I first lectured for college students or gave birth to my child. I looked at the row of rakes and shovels–every shape and size–propped against the wall of my garage. My childhood was over.
To give myself credit, I was not oblivious to growing up. I *typically* behave like an adult; I followed all of the rules to get here: college, employment, marriage, children, home ownership. I’m a parent and a spouse, a person who listens to NPR, and a university instructor. I don’t know the top 40 songs anymore, and honestly some restaurants are just too loud. My 21-year-old students must think I’m 50. It’s more that I thought that being grown up would feel different–that I would feel different–like some sort of grounded life expert with answers and certainty.
For a long time, I had a misconception that successful adults knew exactly what they wanted, where to get it, and how to maintain it. The most successful people learned this early and didn’t change their minds. This was the formula. No plan, no focus, no adulthood.
The most grown up thing I’ve actually done lately (besides the rakes) is accept that adulthood isn’t static. It’s not a “You’ve arrived!” one-stop destination. It’s not a commitment to a singular focus or expertise. The formula doesn’t require knowing how to do something or being certain where it will take you. It just requires starting–believing in your idea, launching version 1.0, and trying again. The most successful grown ups are not people who strive to maintain what they have; they strive to grow.
Rakes are a maintenance tool. What I really needed was potting soil. Hoses. Seeds.
I’ve made a personal commitment to be an adult who prioritizes curiosity, exploration, and growth–the subject of this blog reboot. I’ve decided to stop beating myself up for the times I’ve changed my mind or left something reliable to pursue something new. (Because as it turns out, changing my mind has often led me to something even better.) I’ve decided to be a person who can start, even when I don’t know where I’ll end up. I’ve committed to this not because I’m noble or disciplined, but because living this way makes me happier. I want to celebrate that I’ve pursued a lot of passions (aka had a lot of different jobs) and also tell it like it is when I have no idea what I’m actually doing. As it turns out, no one does.
The Spring 2018 Collection of blog posts is one such start. This collection is dedicated to stories about growth–growing confidence, careers, humans, and relationships. It’s about wanting to know more and do more and have more and be more–even if you’ve already arrived, parked, and started to rake your adulthood yard. My story isn’t dramatic or newsworthy, but it’s honest and real. I think that’s why people will connect to it.
You may know exactly what you want. You may already be pursuing it. You may have changed your mind. You may have gotten what you wanted and realized that it’s not how you thought it would be. You may want 15 things and are stuck analyzing which one to pursue. You may feel like you don’t have the time, money, or security to try something new. You may already be doing it on the side. You may feel like you’re too far into your life to make a change. You may feel like change and growth come easily to you, so girl, stop going on and on about it.
It doesn’t matter where you are because I’m probably in the exact same place depending on the day, the conversation, and whether or not I’ve had my second cup of coffee. I’m glad you’re here to say “Yeah, same,” to the sentence that resonates with you because this all becomes much easier when we’re in it together.
Thanks for reading, thanks for encouraging, and thanks for challenging me to grow as a writer and storyteller.