I was going to write a completely different blog post tonight. I will still write what I had in mind, it was about what I bought in a grocery store, to be titled ” Lean and Clean Prep” or ” Khaleesi approved foods”. I couldn’t do it. Not today. Let me catch you up to speed. Today I went grocery store shopping to stock up my dorm room with lean and clean diet approved food. Even though I am on a college meal plan, I needed a few healthier, fresher alternatives in case I sleep past my alarm in the morning, and don’t have time to go to the dining hall. Before we went to the grocery store, my friend and I had been perusing the mall. I ” treated myself” as the youngins like to say. I don’t splurge often. I was being careless, frivolous. There was no meaning behind handing over my card to buy something. As soon as I had the receipt in my hands, I shoved the piece of paper into my pocket and carried on. I didn’t think twice about what actually just happened. The money being spent. We got a snack, went to dinner. All the while I was using that card with no thought, no care. It was just money. Money in an account. When we hit the grocery store, I realized I needed more things then I had accounted for. I had never actually gone grocery shopping without a parent, and or someone else paying for the items I throw into the cart. As I looked at the different prices of peanut butter, the cost difference between organic (what I want to eat), and non organic, I felt my stomach knot a little. I remember back to a time when I was shopping with my Mom back home. I stumbled across this expensive granola, that I thought looked like something a famous person would eat. How could they not? It just looked that healthy, and in turn it was that expensive. I asked my Mom for it, and well, she said no. “There was no need for fifteen dollar granola”, she said. “The richest man on the planet does not need fifteen dollar granola”. I whined, I complained. I gave her the ” Please Mom, its only fifteen dollars and I will be ever so disappointed if you don’t buy this for me” look. When I blinked, clearing the memory from my eyes, I looked at the granola, I looked at the one I had been overwhelmingly spoiled over. I chose the one on sale, and left that aisle with a heavy feeling weighing on my shoulders. Why has it taken me this long to understand the cost of living? I have worked before, spent money before. Yet, I haven’t been impacted. I am lucky, I am someone who always had food in the fridge when I opened it. When the cashier rung me up, and I saw how much money I had to spend on food alone, I thought back to what I had previously purchased at the mall, the dinner I ate, the fifteen dollars I was digesting. I felt a little sick. Now a days the world “adulting” is often thrown around in millennial culture, and my generations every day vernacular. The Merriam Webster dictionary’s definition for the word adulting is to behave like an adult, specifically to do the things—often mundane—that an adult is expected to do. I have used this word a lot since I came to college. When I am doing laundry, or writing a paper I will complain to my roommate that ” adulting” is so difficult. At the grocery store today, I graduated adulting. I no longer have the need to point out that I was simply pretending to be an adult, behaving as one would, and the struggles that entail, because truly I don’t know what those struggles are. I haven’t worked to support anyone other then myself, I am not responsible for another living being. Tonight was my first taste, my first bite into what it actually means to go into a grocery store needing food, not just wanting it. I took my first spoonful of looking at the cost of things I have taken for granted, I thought about all the Moms and Dads that have to work hard to come to this grocery store, and feed their families. ” Adulting” isn’t being on your own, doing things that grown ups do. That is simply maturity. Implying that you only act like an adult, is also implying that you are still a child. As a child, I was annoyed at the fact that I didn’t get the specific granola that I wanted. As an adult, I feel lucky that I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to go grocery shopping with my Mom, that growing up I never felt hungry. No longer will I be someone who practices adulting. Now I count my blessings, and hope to grow further so I can develop into a person who has many epiphany’s elsewhere, about what it mean’s to grow up.
This experience was truly humbling.