I never really think about all that happened last year.
Mr. T's school closed for good. We were left scrambling and he didn't find a job until the last minute. We had to sell our house and ended up actually carrying a mortgage and rent for five months or so.
Most of the time I feel lucky or blessed or whatever. We sold our house. He found a job. We found a great apartment that we could afford that was perfect for our needs. We really like where we live now. We like it even more than where we used to live. And, ultimately, we figured out that place wasn't for us.
But then it hit me. When I saw the picture of that stupid fridge come up on my memories. It's really not a stupid fridge. It was the fridge of my dreams. And I know how really stupid that sounds. I mean, it's just a stupid fridge. But I had waited my whole life to buy a fridge. I've always rented and I've always hated the fridge. The second we bought a house I started planning to buy a new one.
And, really, I started planning all of the things that I wanted to do with that house. But more than anything I felt like a grown up. I felt like I was finally doing all of the grown up things that I was supposed to be doing.
You see, I spent my entire adult life trying to feel like an adult. I was way behind everyone else. I moved to Chicago and then NYC where I had a roommate. Sometimes I ate melted cheese on a plate for dinner. I stayed out late and drank a lot.
Coming from small towns, that's not what you did. You went to college and married and had kids. Or you married and had kids. You had a house and a job and pork chops for dinner.
But not me.
I married at almost 34. I had no kids. I did sometimes have pork chops for dinner though.
So that fridge was a status symbol in a way. I finally did it, you guys.
And even now I sit here crying because I no longer have that damn fridge.
How did it happen? How did I become that person? That person that's so wrapped up in what I look like to other people? Have I always been this person and I just didn't know it?
I don't know. But what I do know is that I don't like it. Sure, that fridge is beautiful, but so am I without it. Life is beautiful without it. And I am not any less in adulthood just because I don't have that fridge. In fact, if we want to really get into things, I'm probably more of an adult than a lot of people my age. I've been living on my own since I was 21. But I don't want to compare. There's no need to.
I'm happy. I pay my bills. I have a beautiful home. I have my own business. My husband is doing what he loves and working to finish his PhD. We have a couple of really cute dogs. And that is a wonderful life. That is enough. More than enough really.
And the fact of the matter is that I will never be where the people my age are. We aren't having kids, but even if we did, they would be babies when most people our age have teenagers. Maybe we'll buy a house again some day. Maybe we won't.
Comparing yourself to where you "should" be is just silly. Because there is no should. The beautiful part about life is that we all get to decide where we want to be and who we want to be. And we don't all have to follow the same path. I'm an adult because I'm 37 years old.
And it's just a stupid fridge.