"What do you want to be when you grow up?" It's a popular question throughout childhood, through high school, and into college when you have to pick that major that determines the initial direction that your professional life will take. If you'd have asked me that question as a child, the answer would have ranged from professional baseball player to paleontologist to astronomer to ophthalmologist. In high school, I took a turn toward the dramatic. The response would have been an actor or a writer, and perhaps a teacher. In college, my intention was to be a television reporter--at least until I took an internship as a reporter. And now as I pass through my 30s, I've been none of those things (at least not professionally). And I still ask myself what I want to be when I grow up.
Fortunately, I still feel like I have time before I reach that status. It's not that I don't want to grow up, I just don't feel like I've fulfilled the requirements. Somewhere in my mind I've always thought that "real" adults are married, have families and own homes. I guess there's a certain comfort to all of that. My recent townhouse purchase takes care of one piece of the puzzle--I think that only a grownup would be willing (or crazy enough?) to take on a 30-year mortgage. But the dating scene has been...interesting...to say the least, so I don't necessarily see the other pieces of the puzzle coming together in the immediate future (but I never completely eliminate the possibility).
Don't get me wrong--my life is good. I don't want to see the kid in me go away, and I don't intend to let it, even if I reach my "real" adult status. I'm pretty content with where I am right now. But I don't think I'm a grownup quite yet.