All growed up

via Seth's Flickr
When did you first know you were a grown up?

Was it when your parents dropped you off, slightly anxious but mostly excited, at your college dorm freshman year?  When you received your first official paycheck and then put it into savings instead of spending it all on clothes and junk food?  Or when people in the service industry started calling you "ma'am" or "sir"?  For me, it was my first trip to Whole Foods by myself to go grocery shopping.

Up to that inflection point, grocery shopping was a chore, something that you had to do to put stuff in the fridge and pantry so you could eventually put it in your mouth.  I would avoid grocery shopping with my mom, which was almost like a religious ritual for her, and her multitude of visits to the regular grocery store, organic grocery store and Asian grocery store.  But sometime in between my junior and senior year at college, I got it.

There is something to be said about the necessity, or actually, the desire to feed yourself and do a smashing good job at it.  To actually fuel yourself with high quality, high nutrient content food and not just a jumble of salty sweet artificially amped up consumables that you don't even glance at while you shovel it into your gaping maw (usually done while watching some brainless reality thing on tv).  And as David Lebovitz describes grocery shopping in America in his book The Sweet Life in Paris, "I felt so welcome and got such a warm, cozy feeling inside that I didn't want to leave.  The ultra-plush seating area set amid a jungle of exotic plants and aromatherapy sprays was more comfy than home."

Browsing through endless aisles and pondering on an infinite combinations of ingredients and the meals that they would delight.  Coming across new produce that you've never seen, much less tasted before, and planning a themed menu around it.  This all became a privilege to me and something I looked forward to.  It was about taking the time and energy to do something right and being thoughtful about it.  And that's when I grew up.*



*Okay, I'm not really that grown up.  But I became more grown up.  Which was saying something.

Comments

  1. Haha, yes, more grown up is the perfect way to look at it. Being completely grown up is a destination I hope to never reach.

    For me growing up has been a process of evolving (and growing) responsibilities. But I remember being amused as a teenager (17 maybe?) when mothers would tell their children "Don't get in the man's way, sweetie" as I walked past them in a store.

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  2. This is beautiful Miss Rooth. Really lovely. My husband and I feel like we grew up together when we moved to California after he finished his PhD. This was a long time ago! But moving away, really away, from our families, felt more growing up-like than getting married or moving in together did.

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  3. I never used to go grocery shopping with my parents. Then I started living alone and really had to adjust.

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  4. I still refer to myself and my friends as girls, rather than "women," so I don't think I've actually felt like a true grown up yet. Or at least the definition of a grown up I've got stuck in my head! I felt more grown up when I moved to Portland by myself, but I imagine I'll feel like a "real" grown up when I buy a house. But I have no idea when that will happen.

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  5. This is so true! I love getting food inspiration and going shopping to find the best ingredients to put together a great meal. I think the first time I felt grown up was when I had to set up utilities in my name. It was a fleeting moment though...most days I'm unconvinced I'm *really* grown up! :)

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  6. I'm still waiting for my moment.
    But seriously, I think it was when I moved out and lived on my own. That was such a rude awakening.

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  7. I don't want to grow up but I thinks there's more resistance from my family... They seem to be determined to treat me like a child forever... Haha!

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  8. I think realizing you're grown up is looking back and knowing your parents where just as terrified as you at your age.

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  9. I still don't feel grown up, but moving in with my bf this month and geting our own place feels pretty adult like <3 scary but very grown up x

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  10. What an interesting post.

    I think I grew up when I left home and had to learn to cook and do all the housework by myself.

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  11. For me it was when I got myself my first apartement and job at the age of 19 - I felt SO grown up and free! Lovely memories!

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  12. I believe I felt most grown up when I moved to another state, for college. Looking back, I see I was nothing of the sort!

    I'm still not sure I've arrived at full grown-up status . . . and I think that's a good thing! :)

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  13. I have to admit I can't remember when I felt like a grown up for the first time. Sometimes I still feel like a little kid inside ;)

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  14. I hardly feel grown up, but I've always LOVED grocery shopping! Such a weird kid :-) I really am my mother's daughter, haha

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  16. I'm an adult, but still call myself a girl. It's weird.

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  17. Well, I've been called ma'am since I was 16. Ew.

    Sometimes I still don't feel like an adult. And I'll be 29 next month. I guess it's sinking in because my parents are here and my boyfriend will be over and they can't say, "Oh hey curfew" lol. Is that strange??

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  18. I can't really put my finger on the exact moment when I first felt grown up. Maybe when I went away to college? Or received my first bill and paid rent on my first place? Second to those moments, I definitely felt grown up when I had children. When you're responsible for another life, you grow up real fast.

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