Being a Grown Up

The thing is, no one really tells you when you’ve become an adult. There aren’t any truly objective signs that point out when you’ve reached that certain level where you are officially a “grown up.”

Sure, I’ve had milestones along that way that signal various parts of adulthood, such as graduating from college, getting a job, moving out of my parents’ house, buying my own place, buying my own car, turning 30, watching your friends get married and have children. But through all those things, I’m not sure I’ve every really felt like an adult and I certainly didn’t act my age.

At the end of the day, I’m not sure that anyone really wants adulthood, but often times its just thrust on you. And man, did that happen to me this year.

I haven’t talked about it on any of my social media channels, but earlier this year my Mom got diagnosed with breast cancer. Fortunately, we caught it early. Surgery and six months of chemo later, she’s doing much better. In fact, just last week she finished her last round of chemo (hopefully ever). She’s got another 8 months of another medication she has to take, but that has far fewer side effects and she should be getting back to her normal healthy self soon. Fortunately, we worked with top notch doctors and nurses and received some of the best care this area has to offer. As a result, her prognosis is good.

Let me tell you, nothing will make you grow up faster than hearing the word “cancer” associated with one of your parents. Beyond that, the second half of this year has been pretty tough as well. In September my grandmother passed away–which was extra difficult because Mom and Dad were scheduled to be in India that month, if not for the chemo treatments. In addition, because Mom’s been out sick for so long, she’s being forced to retire; one of my Dad’s best friends and one of our closest family friends’ passed away; my Aunt and Uncle’s house got broken into; work has been hectic; and my Uncle recently fell pretty ill on a trip to India.

One of those “perfect storm”/”when it rains, it pours” scenarios, right?

It’s weird, when shit like this happens, your initial thought is, “this is supposed to happen to other people, not us.”

Luckily, I’ve built a great support system of friends around me that are willing to lend a hand or be a sounding board for all the issues that have been going on. At the end of the day, that’s what you build up friendships for, right? To deal with years like this one.

What they don’t tell you  when you’re growing up is exactly how challenging adulthood can be. However, those challenges do bring you even closer to those closest to you: your family and your friends.

So, my advice is pretty simple. Stay in touch. Call or text somebody you haven’t talked to in a while and say hi, see how they’re doing. It may just take 5 minutes, but it could make a world of difference.

Cheers.

J.

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~ by joysonism on December 8, 2013.

One Response to “Being a Grown Up”

  1. Wow. What a year. Those are all really crappy things to deal with in isolation, and it must have been intense to deal with them one after another. I’m glad you’ve had a support system to lean upon. I know how that can be; I’ve organized my life to very specifically provide me a safety net of friends.

    Hope you know you can count on me as one piece of the support system as well. Also hope to see you soon.

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