Feeling grown-up

Sometimes it’s the little things that can make the difference between feeling grown-up and feeling like you’re still faking it. For whatever reason having a baby doesn’t actually help me feel grown-up. I suspect it’s because most of the time as a new parent, you feel quite incompetent, so it’s a lot more faking it than most non-parents realize . . .

This week at work there was a big financing thing to send off to the government, and it meant dealing with auditors and courriers, and triple checking numbers, and getting signatures, etc. It was a relief to finally send it off, and while it wasn’t really a “little” thing, the fact that I was the one to send it and not my more senior colleague felt pretty good (even if technically it was because she was out that day). Just being the one to have the final say whether something is ready or not definitely made me feel like a grown-up.

There was also my first “lunch” at work this week. Most days, around 11am, we all look around the open space and ask “So, what are we doing for lunch?”. I’ve heard everyone else say “Oh, I have a lunch today” at least once (in French they all say “J’ai un lunch” which makes me laugh and cry at the same time). So this week it was my turn! I finally worked up the courage to ask someone from another department if she wanted to eat lunch together. This may not seem like a big deal to some people, but I am quite shy/awkward, and even eating in the cafeteria is hard for me since I’m a classic introvert who needs lots of alone time. If she wasn’t fairly new to the company, and if she hadn’t mentioned it in passing one day (“oh, we should do lunch to talk about xyz”) and if my colleague hadn’t agreed to go with me, I never would have done it. In the end, my colleague couldn’t go, so I was on my own, and more than a little nervous. It felt like being a freshman and asking to sit with a senior varsity (insert popular sport in your school) player at lunch. But of course it went fine, because being a grown-up is not only sometimes like high school . . .

And finally, the most grown-up thing I did this week was renew my monthly train pass BEFORE the end of the month instead of remembering on the way to the train station and waiting in the huge line the first morning of the month and being late to work.

2 thoughts on “Feeling grown-up”

  1. Mid-April I went to Paris for two days for a conference to represent my boss, who is in the US for the year. I had to take an early morning plane to get into Paris by 9:30am, and when I was taking my seat in the plane I commented to myself on all the business men and women taking the plane with me. And then it dawned on me: I was one of those people! I had become one of those suit wearing people I noticed when I was teenager, traveling for work and going to important meetings. But I didn’t feel like I had become of the them, I still felt like the younger me. And then I realized that maybe those other suit wearing travelers feel the same thing sometimes…

    Then recently I went out for drinks with a younger colleague (24) who talked about going out to bars and clubs and just all the other stuff she did and I realized that I actually don’t mind being 31. I only think of myself as young when I’m with older people; when I actually spend time with younger people my maturity seems to come out of the woodworks!

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