I thought adulthood would be easy.
According to M.A.S.H., anyways. Everyone got to grow up and get issued a Mansion, Apartment, Shack, or a House. You got to marry one of your four favorite men and you definitely got children and a job.
That was it. Here are the keys, Mrs. Adult.
You are off to the races!
There was no talk about mortgages or life insurance or property taxes. There was no warning that marriage is hard as hell, or how even the best relationships break your heart, from time to time.
And OMG, family planning? Who ever knew it involved peeing on sticks and crying every 29th day of the month and taking your temperature in the most uncomfortable of ways — all for the joy of having that baby (or two or three).
Oh, and that’s saying nothing at all of childbirth.
Yeah, I used to think adulthood was going to be simple, but now I realize it’s anything but. Growing up is hard. So hard.
As soon as you think you’ve unlocked the Next Level and figured the whole thing out, well...
You lose your job.
Your marriage that was a rock yesterday, is now just rocky.
You experience a miscarriage.
Or you never conceive at all.
Your house payment becomes an unbearable burden.
Or a parent gets sick.
You gain 50 pounds and no longer love yourself.
One day, the world is blue skies and sunshine. You’ve struck gold in M.A.S.H., and you set out on your great adventure. It all looks so easy, and you start to get cocky.
You think you have this parenting thing figured out and this finances thing figured out and this life thing figured out and the next...
The finish line is moved a little farther away, and you are left standing alone, baffled. You want to cry or scream or throw something
“Excuse me, this isn’t how my game was supposed to play out!!!!”
No, nobody told us that growing up was so damn hard. Nobody told us that there would be days we want to cry on the couch like children and call our Moms, and relinquish control of everything, if only for a few hours.
But, we cant. Because we aren’t those kids, anymore.
We are the Moms of our homes now. Our babies depend on US. If bills are going to get paid, we have to pay them. If marriages are going to mend, we have to mend them. We don’t get to play M.A.S.H. and magically end up with the life we always wanted.
It’s all work and grit and tears.
It’s hard. It’s exhausting.
But can I tell you a something? There is still beauty in it.
When you feel a distance between you and your spouse, that’s when a bridge gets built. When you lose your job, and feel lost in the limbo, that’s the blank slate you never knew you needed. You get to grab your pen and start writing.
When you ache from the sting of life’s loss, there is a powerful strength that comes with the healing.
You will find that these hard days — the ones that shift everything around — are the ones that make you who you are.
Who you wanted to be. And that’s what it is to grow up.
I KNOW that sometimes it feels like, the moment you have life figured out, the rug gets pulled out from under you again.
But have faith in this.
You will be made stronger in the hardest of times. You will discover more about who you are with the change of every season. With every struggle, every hard day, every gray hair.
You are growing up.
If theres one thing I’ve learned in the last decade, it’s that you can’t get too comfortable where you are.
Because shift happens.
And even though life is scarier, and harder, and more discombobulating than we ever imagined...
It’s still good.
It’s hard, and it sure as hell ain’t M.A.S.H.
But it’s good.