Slowly it’s been hitting me that this is the first time in my life that I am completely financially independent. Well…I still owe my mom for my plane ticket over here but I should have no problem paying that back. I’ve been living off my savings and will be getting a regular paycheck once a month. Today I am starting to tutor, which I will do Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for a total of 9 hours a week. Hopefully it will make me an extra 100€ per week. It’s conceivable that I could actually save money while here!
The funny thing is that it’s not the independence that feels good, but rather the fact that I am beginning to see myself as an adult. Before I was uncomfortable when called a woman or an adult, but since I now live my life through my own means I feel as though I am starting to deserve that title.
I took a sociology class about the sociology of youth and we talked about this in the class. “When is it that one becomes an adult?” One girl (or should I say woman) said that she was emancipated from her parents at age 17 and therefore has felt like an adult for several years. I looked at her with confusion and respect. I respected her for doing something that I never even considered doing or was never forced to do. But I was also confused. She was so adamant about her adulthood, almost defiant that she was an adult, unlike the rest of us little kiddies in the class. What was she trying to prove? Did she look down on us because we didn’t make the same decision as her? Or was she jealous that we never had to?
I am happy that my “adulthood” is starting now. Its been a slowly developing process, from being fully supported by my mother to using my part-time earnings to cover personal expenses/non-necessities to now exclusively supporting myself on a monthly income.
I could have done it earlier, I suppose, and may have become a stronger person for it, but my academic/social life would have suffered for it. And besides, the issue never really came up. I never felt compelled to pay for everything myself and no one suggested I should. Coulda woulda shoulda…
I’m happy that I’m a paid college graduate who didn’t have to move back home and I’m exploring what it means to be an adult. It’s not all that different really but I have been finding that I feel more license to do what I want. Why worry about what other people think? If that’s the way I am, if that’s an expression of myself or of my desires, just do it. Why waste my time anticipating someone else’s reaction?
Maybe being an adult is just trusting yourself to make the right decisions. Who knows? But something’s a little different.