How many of us have been in dark places and no matter how much we attempt to see the bigger picture we just can't. I was in such a rush to grow up and be an Adult, I had no idea what I was actually fighting for. My father would to tell me over and over ,
"Kate slow down baby girl, You have so much time to be an adult. Be a child while you can." Boy do I wish I listened, even if only for that moment. I recall even while he was talking I would be off some where else in my mind wishing I could have my own personal space to just be free. Little did I know that freedom had a cost..... Nah like a real one. It consisted of having stable employment and a skill set of some sort at the least, and you can't just walk up to an apartment complex and ask for the keys to the fancy apartment you always dreamed of. Nope thats just not how life works.
I call it Adulting !! Its the part that teachers forget to discuss while in high school when young adults scream that they are grown. The part that isn't much fun unless you are purchasing something with adult money other than paying bills lol. Its the responsible skill (that some of us don't have), that reminds us when it is time to not throw tantrums and have a whole bitch fit, all because we have to do something undesirable. Yes my friends, ADULTING - the constant reminder that all things in life aren't fair.
My first over dose of adulating was when my father made me start paying rent at 16 years old. HOW DARE HE? I was only getting paid about $120 dollars weekly and I had so many things I wanted buy. Like really important stuff, (the following are things I wanted at 16 years of age, don't judge). Make up, shoes, clothes, I wanted to going to the movies with friends , a cell phone, the new bad boy cds, (I said don't judge! lol). Never the less my dad refused to let me spend my money on what I wanted, because I had to pay $40 dollars in rent weekly!!!!! I was so mad! After my first check I handed the money over to my dad, and boy was I angry.
Months go by and I decided to ask my best friends if they paid rent to their parents. They all said no, I almost fainted, so I'm being robbed !!! (foolishnesses I know, I was extremely ignorant to reality as a kid.) So the next few times I got paid, I didn't pay my rent to my father and avoided him at all costs. One day he came in my room and said If i don't pay the back rent there will be consequences. I remember rolling my eyes so hard they might have gotten stuck! lmbo!!!! Well, folks what do you think I did? I paid it !! My dad was huge, I wanted to go to prom, and it was coming up soon lol!
Years would pass and I took on many positions, after my first job at McDonalds. In these positions I met a lot of people who were older than me. They assumed I didn't pay rent, because I was 18 years old living with my parents. I surely I had to correct them, " um I pay rent too", I said defensively. "Really, how much "? they replied. "I pay $60 dollars".(rent went up lol) They looked at me and all laughed, and I didn't get the joke. My co worker said, " boo my rent is $650 a month and Im a single mom with two kids. I have to work this job and do hair on the side to pay my rent." I never forgot that conversation with her. She told me a lot about her hardships and lack of guidance with her parents. I know mine weren't perfect, ESPECIALLY MY FATHER, but he and my mother were there and were available to me everyday. So her perspective was enlightening for me.
The next year my boyfriend asked to marry me, I said "yes." I didn't realize that by saying yes, I would be saying " no" to my sheltered life, no to protection and yes to Adulting. Planning my wedding was very expensive. Though they paid more than half of it, I soon realized my $40-60 in rent would mean nothing on the grand scheme of things in the adult world. My wedding cost $12,000, my parents agreed to pay for half. Moving costs and furniture costs $5500 and it all had to be done within 7months. I was stressed out and had no savings. I was the youngest of my friends to go down this road so I basically went on this journey alone, because no one knew what support I needed. I managed to get two more jobs and barely slept, but on September 3, 2005 I got married and moved into my new place. I did it! That sense of accomplishment was priceless. I knew that if I stuck to my goals no matter how hard it got I would be just fine.
After the wedding was over my spouse and I were broke. Thank goodness for the gifts we received they were truly a blessing. One gift stood out most tho, it was from my dad. Remember that rent I paid to my dad ? He gave it back, every single dime! He saved it for me for moments such as these. So when I actually did decide to try this "Adulting thing" I would have a head start. Unlike what he went through when he grew up. He said when he grew up he started off with nothing. He wanted his children to know responsibility before they left the nest. boy did he teach me that! I currently have a savings because of this very same lesson. Did I stumble and fall yessssssss!!!!!!!!!!!! Of course I did, don't well all? I got married and then got divorced. Acquired a load of debt and had to "Adult" my way out of that, but guess what ? I did it. I accepted that most of the circumstances I had were directly a result of my choices. Adulting is apart of life folks, we have to accept it one way or another, or life will make our choices for us.
In my youth I thought like a child and I should have, but as an adult I had to put a away childish things. I have two children, two businesses, and a chronic illness. I have to be accountable for each and every decision I make as they ultimately affect my future. I, like my parents, have many plans for my children and look forward to teaching them this very same lesson that was taught to me. This particular lesson has made me become more accountable for my own actions as an adult. So many times, we want to blame the world for our health, our finances, our jobs, and personal relationships. To be honest, in MOST cases (not all), we can do somethings about the choices we make, good or bad. If you make a mistake and its fixable, FIX IT. This is very important, being a victim is a nasty little disease in our generation. Accountability is a word that we need to keep in our vocabulary often. When I get MYSELF in something messy, that could have been prevented I say to myself, "well how can i prevent this next time." I am far from perfect and I didn't write this blog to be preachy, just to bring light to the idea that though adulting may suck, its apart of growing up. I for one want to raise noble gentlemen and I can't do that without owning my sh*t first. Children only do what they see from example, if they see poor choices they may choose to make poor choices in their future. I went on my own path as an adult but when I decided to accept my role as a grown up, I did reflect on some of the things my parents taught me.
I hope this blog brought some encouragement to you, Adulting is difficult but having a positive perspective and outlook on life will keep you grounded so you may be able to win these battles and storms in life!
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Dress - Vince Camuto
Photographer - Zamani Feelings