I've always categorized the stages of growing up into someone responsible in the following ways.
1) Legal - basically, you're 18 and over, you pay taxes, you're legal for eveything except drinking. Have fun enjoying becoming a 'responsible' member or society.
2) Adulthood - you've bought your first residence (or rented your first residence) and either live with your significant other or have a roommate thats great to live with, you own a new or newer than your first wreck of a car vehicle and you're looking into the whole dating pool idea with an open mind and heart.
3) Grownup - couplehood acheived and have come together in a shower of sparkling lights and happy fuzzies to create a child. You are soccer mom or she who can do it all and still have great sex.
(in case you can't tell that's me blowing a raspberry at the screen)
If I've learned nothing else this past year its that labels don't define anyone. I love more than anything else to look up my birthday and see what it says I should be like and then proceed to see that while I'm like that in some ways, I'm not like it in a million others. In the back of my mind there is always the chant "never let someone else's opinion of you become your reality". I don't like being how everyone thinks I should be.
I've been told that I should be buying my first piece of property, thinking about getting married, having baby #1, etc. And honestly, none of it appeals to me at all. In fact I want nothing more than to run away from the idea of buying a piece of land anywhere near where I currently live, scream in terror when I think about getting married and shudder at the idea of having a child.
I don't want to do, be or act like any of the things I used to think about when I labeled the different stages of being a responsible member of society. Does that make me irresponsible...? Doomed to repeat the mistakes of a past generation...? Unwilling to grow up and face the facts of life...?
Not sure, but let me finish my lollipop, check my savings account, double check on my IUD insertion date and I'll get back to you.