Congratulations, you adult you.
You grew up.
You pay bills with your own paycheck
You have friends who are forty
Teenagers seem like aliens
You sort of understand where taxes go
And for Christmas you asked for a set of plates.

How did this happen–this growing up?
Slowly, and all of a sudden.

One day you were just young, single you
Sitting on your bed at your parents’ house
(That’s what you call it now: your parents’ house)
Thinking about how strange it was
That you could possibly meet someone, fall in love, and get married
All within the next decade.

Now you have been with someone for five years
You share an address and a toilet and two cats
And some nights, when you slip into bed beside them
You think about how strange it is
That you have only known them for one fifth of your life.

How else did it happen?

One day you were just young, eager you
Sitting in your dingy college apartment
Making a literal countdown
To the day you could grab your diploma,
Leave town,
And start your life.

Now you have a job where clients twice your age
Ask for professional advice.
Where you spent the first few years looking over your shoulder
To make sure they were talking to you,
Wondering if you should offer to go find an adult
Until one day you noticed that you had developed a tone in your voice
That sounds something like authority
Even if half the time you’re just making it up.

It occurs to you that you can do anything now, you adult you.
You have a credit card.
You have insurance (even though you don’t know how it works).
You can book a flight.
You can rent a car.
You can buy a house.
You can have a baby.
And there’s nothing your parents can say about it.

You have arrived.

You don’t think you even miss college
Until one Tuesday night when you go to Walmart
And see three 20-year-olds buying groceries together
And suddenly you feel a hole in your gut
The size of a cantaloupe.
You have new friends, adult friends, yes.
But they are every other weekend friends.
It’s been years since you went to Walmart with anyone on a Tuesday.

You become someone who says
“It’s almost Friday”
When co-workers ask what’s up
On Thursdays
And Wednesdays.
And you mean it
You really need that weekend
To do laundry.
And purge the refrigerator.
And browse the “Home Decor” section at Kohl’s.

Congratulations, you adult you.
You grew up.