It doesn’t seem like long ago that seeing so-and-so post a pregnancy announcement on Myspace was a big deal. Nobody could believe that she got knocked up. Of course there were the other girls we all knew would be young parents, even since high school. The ones who methodically cleaned up fresh messes during house parties, took care of puking, stumbling rookie drinkers and served that motherly, mature role in the group. But when the formerly sloppy drunk ones began popping out Gerber Gobblers of their own, it was different. It was shocking. The keyword there is was. Now it’s ordinary. We see it and we scroll on because it’s not out of the norm. Humdrum pregnancy notices.
Realizing that you don’t find someone from high school being preggo noteworthy anymore indicates something. It means that you’re probably older and people are changing. They’re maturing, being responsible — making, dare I say, adult decisions. Holy responsiblity, we are adults now. When did that even happen? I’m pretty sure I was just watching Lizzie McGuire and Even Stevens after a long day of middle school like two months ago, tops.
The mid twenties is actually the era I’d always anticipated getting married and having a child during. At 17 I’d think, yeah, by 24-25 I’ll be settling down. Then at 19 it was like, meh, there’s still plenty of time. 21 hit and I was too funk to drunction. Then, suddenly I’m sitting at a computer screen, completely unfazed by What’s-Her-Name’s “IT’S A GIRL!!!” status because I’ve seen a lot others just like it in recent months.
Sometimes it feels like everyone is with child. That girl who was the most unpopular, popular person ever, being mysteriously elected to student council, but nobody had a clue as to how. She’s pregnant. The girl who met her boyfriend online and moved to another state directly after graduation. She’s got a bun in the oven. Hell, even the chick notorious for giving happy beginning, middle and endings under the bleachers got it together and is now a mother. Everyone is doing it! Alright — that’s an exaggeration, not everyone, but a lot. Speaking of exaggerating, do you remember that overly dramatic girl who only spoke in hyperboles?! Yeah, well she’s 22 weeks along.
It’s not just the baby thing, there’s a lot more settling down happening as well. People are popping questions, accepting proposals, being engaged and even *gasp* getting married. When you’re simply dating or playing the field, seeing this can provoke thoughts of the confused sort. Why are you only comfortable with an unlawful commitment? Why hasn’t he gone to Jared? These are the things people need answers to.
Aside from children and marriage, there are other touchy subjects that can make a twenty (or thirty) something feel behind in the areas that define adulthood. For example, people are financing things and making significant purchases that I’d find terrifying. I have a friend who took forty-five minutes and a reassuring phone conversation with his mother to buy a new cell phone.
I’m He’s a really great guy though, so don’t judge or poke fun. While some are acquiring credit cards, new vehicles and other awesome stuff to pay off, you may be dodging college loan collector’s calls like the school they helped you attend has a stellar “Screening Phone Calls 101” class. Even if you don’t have debt, adding a new bill in the mail every month can seem unappealing, despite the material possessions it would be garnering.
There’s a big picture here and it’s that we’re all moving at a unique pace. One that needs to be comfortable for you and you alone. When you run on the treadmill and the person next to you is going faster, don’t turn your machine up! They may not be planning to go as long or wanting to accomplish the same things as you. Forcing ourselves into situations we’re not happy with or ready for would be downright stupid. Honestly I didn’t anticipate liking to play X-Box, buy stuff I don’t really need and not change poopy diapers so much by this age, but I do. This happens to many of us. It can feel like we’re Will Smith in I Am Legend, allll by ourselves but that’s never the case. There are plenty of others out there, completely content with their lack of children, car notes and boyfriends/girlfriends.