Maybe it was the brutal winter finally ending. Maybe it was the increase in Vitamin D. Maybe it was Mercury finally leaving Retrograde (I don’t even know what that is, but the Internets were all about it last month). Maybe it was something about the one-year anniversary of breaking my face. I don’t really know what happened: but I woke up one day and realized I was an adult.
I don’t even know if #adulting is what I am doing. I’ve always had a strong will, but I’ve never been this proactive with execution. It’s like I’m on some personal growth tornado lately. If doing what I want, when I want to do it, is the definition of #adulting, then I think Adult Melissa is going to be okay.
I think the real catalyst was moving apartments. I was sick of living in the
dungeon“Garden Level”, and a unit opened up on the 2nd floor. It didn’t have a renovated kitchen, but it had windows that let in sunlight, three massive storage closets, and a perfect wall to hang my bike. Sold.
In the past, moving has always been made possible with the assistance of men. From freshman year on, I’ve always enlisted the help of (read: bribed) boyfriends, my friend’s boyfriends, my Dad, my brother – anyone with the mental and physical capacity to weasel a 7 foot couch through a 6 foot entry way. But I don’t think it is any coincidence that Adult Melissa and Single Melissa are co-existing – and so I found myself with limited males to ask for help. Instead, I asked Courtney. C has been my go-to girl for 5:45 AM spin classes, caffeine fixes, work lunches, happy hours, nightly trivias, free concerts – you name it. I knew she could handle lifting a dresser. So it was just me, C, 953 trips up two flights of stairs, and a case of beer. Five hours later, and that shit was on lock. No dude to carry the couch. No guy responsible for hanging the pictures. No boy bossing me around about “best moving practices”, as if it was in their DNA and not mine…Just me. And C. Cuz we are grown-ass women.
Consider this a PSA. Moves can be made without men. I’ll admit, I was skeptical. But it can be done.
So here I was, in a gorgeous new apartment, with access to my old unit for another six days. Empty, vacant, and the closest thing I would have to a “Woman Cave” for easily the next five years. It was the perfect time & space to finally re-finish my coffee table.
This beast has been with me since college. I couldn’t let it go because of its brilliant design (Grand Central…you were good for something…). The top of the table raises – doubling as a dinner table. So you can shovel food from plate to mouth, withouts spills, while watching Netflix. This table has lived in four different apartments, and has benefited four different men in my life – who all offered to help me re-finish it someday. I got tired of wishing and waiting on Mr. #5 to come around, so I got up, rented a power sander at Ace Hardware, bought paint and sealer, and made a masterpiece. Complete with adorable, matching Anthropologie knobs. For four years, this coffee table’s appearance has plagued me. And in just five hours, I had a shiny new table that was all mine. And yes, I ordered Pad Thai and shoveled it into my mouth that night while watching Netflix. Cuz I’m a grown-ass woman, and that’s allowed. I am woman. Hear me roar.
The next few days were filled with similar triumphal events. I went to the Farmer’s market and bought herbs for an indoor plant garden. Because I wanted fresh mint for summer Mojitos. And I picked up a hanging plant, because why not?
I ordered a new credit card so I could rack up better bonus miles for some serious 2016 travel plans (cough cough, Janelle, cough cough), and the first thing I purchased was a pontoon rental for my birthday. I’ve never driven a boat before, but hell. If I can use power tools sans injury, I can surely figure out a pontoon.
Then I ordered new sheets from Pottery Barn, because they were on sale, and I wanted them. I wanted nice sheets, because I deserve nice sheets, dammit!
I tried a new coffee shop on the south side of town, and sat there for three hours, sipping on a honey latte and reading. Declining all social invites, because I really just wanted to read.
I bought a new car. I went to four dealerships in two days. I got my Mazda appraised. I researched the car I wanted, I weighed the options, I negotiated, and I made the informed, educated decision to lease a Honda CR-V. Car payments will be less than thrilling, but I did it on my own. And I did it for me. Because I needed to. And I wanted to. And I could.
As if all the above wasn’t enough of a transformation…I finally decided to get my tattoo. Because I am evolving. I have evolved. Even from where I was six months ago. I worked with a designer, I went by myself, and I did it for me. Because I wanted it. And maybe in some weird way, I needed it. Because it is a declarationof me. Of who I am. Of who I am becoming. Of what I love. And I am finding a deep love for myself and my capabilities – far beyond what I thought was possible.
I’m learning to be unapologetic for who I am, and what I want. Maybe I’ll look back on this phase of my life and wonder what the hell I was thinking. But I’ll have no one to blame but myself. And that is weirdly empowering. All these choices are mine.
Disclaimer: even as a Grown Ass Woman, I still hope to find a Mr. #5 some day. Because I know how much I love giving love to someone. Being able to love & share with someone is part of who I am. And finding that will be a much needed missing puzzle piece. But for now, I am learning what it feels like to be my own biggest fan. To do what I want, when I want to do it. To confidently, and competently go about living my life fully. To be enough for myself. To have everything I need, right here, with me.
I’m okay with being my own #1 right now. And I am okay with showing myself all the love I need. And I think that is what #adulting is. I think that is what it means to be a Grown Ass Woman. You know how to love yourself above all.
I don’t know what came first: the chicken or the egg. Did I become a Grown Ass Woman, and then love myself? Or did I love myself, and then become a Grown Ass Woman? Don’t know. Don’t care. I just know that whatever stage of life this is…well…it feels damn good.
Cheers to 25! See ya on the pontoon!