There have been a great number of times that I haven't felt like the grown up in my life. That I'm still just a child, trying to figure it all out, playing dress up while every thing is happening at lightning speed around me.
I used to wonder when I was going to feel like an adult. When was life going to stop feeling like this game that I wasn't very good at?
This last year has been rough. I've sat next to friends and family going through some of the hardest things imaginable. I've watched people I care about deal with devastating divorces, heartbreaking illnesses, death of loved ones, infertility, financial ruin. I've put my arms around people when their children or parents have been critically ill.
When did life get so real?
If this is adulthood, if this is real life, I'm not so sure I'm a fan.
I used to think that there was some magical finish line into adulthood. As if this all was a race, with a participation medal for everyone.
But what it actually feels like is the accumulation of fatigue and sadness and disappointment and stress. And then learning to still smile, to still be happy, to still notice all the good that there is.
Maybe all this is cliche. Maybe this is what everyone else has already figured out.
This last year has helped me sort out my priorities. It's helped me realize how to say no, when enough is enough. And, do you know what? My work, my family: That's enough. I don't need to figure out how to constantly add more.
I'm going to continue to work on being right where I need to be. Because life is too sad, too real, to be or do anything else.