For years, I walked around ashamed of the things I love.
A lot of people define adulthood by the milestones we’ve reached – a career, a marriage, children. Owning a house. Moving out of the parents’ house, at least. Some simply say when you turn eighteen, you’re a grown up. With being an adult comes a menagerie of required behaviors. We dress nice, we behave with dignity, and we handle our lives on an ever upward angle.
If that’s how adult is defined, then I am no adult.
I believe that we reach a point in our lives where things are different. We inherit a lot more responsibility than we’re accustomed to handling, and with each challenge, we learn and grow.
Strange as it is, my comprehension of this weight and my personal priorities have nothing to do with turning eighteen, graduation college, or getting a good job. It had everything to do with trying to plan my wedding. It was then that I started to realize that I needed to stop trying to fit in the “adult” mold. We are all different and there’s no point trying to be a stereotype. What we must do is learn in our own way how to bear our burdens and make the best of them.
I had one year and $3,000 with which to plan my wedding. To give you an idea of how inexpensive my event was, the average cost of a wedding in New Hampshire in 2015 was $31,000. I had my dream wedding gown sketched out since 2007, I wanted to get married at Castle in the Clouds. I wanted incredible photographs and real flowers. But when you only have $3,000 you need to make sacrifices.
A friend made my wedding dress. She did not tailor it to me or even make the basic alterations I requested. I hated the dress – it fit me badly, left glitter everywhere, and was too low cut, but I bore it with silent dignity and opted to change out into a reception dress to minimize my time in it. It was the mature thing to do. I got married in a small cabin by a public lake. We couldn’t take pictures by the lake because the neighbors were swimming there. We made due. The food was barbecue, and delicious. We bought all the decorations and decorated ourselves. Our party helped with everything, and they are amazing people. A friend donated photography. We did our own music. We made due, and it was a fun night. And the process taught me several things:
- Life is not a fairytale.
- Money does not grow on trees.
- We have to compromise.
- We cannot cry over every glass of spilled milk.
- Be able to improvise.
- True friends are precious – treat them well and hold them close.
- Make the most out of the moments you have.
- Remember to breathe.
Life still isn’t easy, but I don’t let it bend me as far out of shape. Heck, I’ve gone through major family drama, we’ve dealt with my husband’s cancer and my own miscarriage. Life isn’t fair. Sometimes, life royally sucks, but who we are is what we make of the worst moments. I believe that childhood trains you to manage your adult life. Those who are successful have learned, those that are not… well, they have much to learn still.
As for me – I may not be picture perfect… but I do the best I can. That’s how I grow and become stronger.
“When did you realize you were an adult?” – Plinky Prompt, Jan 24, 2009.