I recently learned how to start being an adult. I am the last born, the first girl grandchild on both sides, therefore seen as the baby of the family. I never really had to do anything for myself . Up until my brothers moved out and my parents were divorced, it was only my mom and I. She worked lots of hours to provide for us so I took on the cleaning, and looked after myself. But I was still babied, I had my dinner made and served for me every night no matter what and money if I wanted it. Then I turned eighteen in the fall and that all started to change slowly. I was an “adult” now in my parents eyes and I had to start doing things on my own. I already knew how to drive but it I never knew specific street names or what freeway to use. When I started school I had to figure what time to get there, where to park, and etc. All my parents said was “ You are in the real world now, you are responsible for yourself”. I was scared out of my mind! I was once this little girl who only had to worry about how I was going to do my makeup the next day and now I’m this college girl trying to navigate the real world.
My parents gave me the option to work or go to school so I chose school because I would much rather learn about my passions. But that just means at home I have to pick up the slack, which includes cleaning, buying groceries and necessities and cooking. My dad gave me $150 and said go buy what you think we need. I was off to a good start buying almond milk, eggs, juice, all the food I thought we needed. I looked inside the the big cart and with all the empty space inside it. As I looked around the store I started to feel insecure and have anxiety because of the inexperience I had with grocery shopping. The older women in aisles in front of me were giving me dirty looks because I was blocking the soups. I thought to myself this is stupid it’s just shopping for food not a cure for cancer! I got a few other junk food I ate later that day and raced to the checkout. Once I reached home put the food in its proper places, I discovered the refrigerator was not as empty as it was before but I could tell it was not enough to prepare a dinner. My mom came home from work later that day and knew I did not “properly” grocery shop and showed me she had chicken to cook and I was to help her so I could learn how to cook. She looked at me and said “ Bella it is time for you to be independent and learn how to feed yourself.” After three months of being 18 I finally realized I was no longer a child and I had to take care of myself.
We first started off with seasoning and preparing the chicken and then my self doubt kicked in. I was worried I was going to over salt the chicken because her measurements were not accurate. It was like some garlic salt here and douse it in lemon marinara till you feel it is right. I looked at my mom and looked at the bag of chicken and prayed to my great grandma I would not disappoint her. I finally finished the chicken and set in the refrigerator to marinate. My dad decided I needed to also know how to make Spanish rice, as if chicken was not overwhelming enough I had to make rice too?! In reality, it was actually a lot easier to make than seasoning chicken. There was accurate measurements and even a recipe to follow. Not the whole feel or guess if it is enough garlic salt and almost give everyone high cholesterol. As I looked around the kitchen and saw the rice I was making was sitting on simmer and waiting to be eaten, the chicken was being turned over and sizzling, I was proud of myself. I was slowly but surely becoming an “adult” or others could say I finally stopped being lazy and helped out. Dinner was good I mean not as good as it should have been it was a bit too lemony and salty but my mom was proud of me.
I know grocery shopping and making dinner does not sound like adulting be to me this was one of my first big steps because I was responsible for feeding other people instead of being fed and cared for. My parents say my next step could be getting a real job and not be a nanny or babysitter for family and friends. I spent my whole life waiting to grow up and I did not expect grocery shopping as my first real step into reality. I still feel like a child compared to the people I go to school with and inexperienced with real life obstacles but I guess that could be also my height and babyface.