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The first time I realized I was an adult, I cried. I was 22 years old and was, oh, thisclose to being evicted from my apartment due to a bad roommate, bad spending habits and well, just forgetting that, oh yea, I was supposed to be responsible. I cried because I knew at that moment that I wasn’t ready to be an adult, but yet, there I was. Twenty Two. Alone. Just a mess, with no one to blame but myself.
Until my friends helped me.
A boy who was practically a stranger, but also a coworker, offered to pay my back rent in exchange for a place to live for the next 6 months. A girl I had just begun to be friends with offered to take the room my flaky ex-roommate had left behind…and suddenly, it all fell into place. We lived together for a year, with the girl becoming one of my best friends and the boy, becoming like a brother for a short time, until he just kinda faded away just as easily as he came. I realized then that adulthood and independence did not mean what I once thought they did.
It’s funny how my definition of being a grown up and independent has changed throughout my 35 years, even though I could have told you a dozen different times when I felt I hit both. The first time, was when I was that crying 22 yr old, but it wasn’t that last. I haven’t done it on my own either. With each chapter, a new cast of characters were introduced. Some stayed (like my husband) and some have faded away (like my old roommate) but every single one of them is a piece of me. A piece of who I am now. Kinda like the stars and stripes on the American flag. Every element, as important as the next, and without all of those pieces, the flag just wouldn’t be complete.
So this is for you, and you, and you….all the stars and stripes of me.