Day 2: Becoming a Grownup

Prompt: When did you realize you were a grown up? What did this mean for you? 

I felt like an adult when I became completely independent of my parents.  I loved my parents but I hated living athome.  For as long as I can remember, my dreams were always about living somewhere else. I was a quiet child, fiercely independent, non-participatory in family activities, and horse crazy in a home where smelling of horse was a bad thing.  I often smelled of horse.  I spent my time at the stables up the street.  “Can I groom your horse?  Walk your horse?  Bathe your horse?”  I wore Levi’s and I wrote poetry.  I did not fit in at home.

I married a brilliant man, with baggage, the day after I graduated from college.  We moved to LA where I enrolled in a graduate program at the UCLA School of Law.  My parents paid for the tuition as a wedding gift so I still didn’t feel completely free and independent.  After finishing the program at UCLA, I took a job with a prestigious law firm in the heart of Century City.  My office was on the 40th floor of one of the towers. I parked my old Toyota Corolla with oxidized paint in the parking structure.  I had arrived. 
I wasn’t a lawyer, although that was the long term plan. I was a paralegal who did research and sifted through documents to support the attorneys.  I had a desk in an office.  I traded my Levi’s for a fashionable wardrobe.  I learned about Dior and Chanel and Ferragamo.  I couldn’t afford them, but I knew about them and I copied them as best I could.  I started wearing make-up.  I used Lancôme products exclusively.  I carried a leather briefcase and traveled first class across the country.  During a large trial, I lived in a hotel in downtown LA near the courthouse.  
I was self-sufficient, confident and I felt very adult.  My marriage quickly fell apart but by then I knew I could support myself and being alone did not frighten me in the least.  Eventually, the glow wore off on the job and I found work closer to where I was living in Orange County.  It would be a few more years before I found the real me in Levi’s again. 
I still love designer clothes.  I still use Lancôme.  But, I also write poetry and I have my very own horse to walk, wash, groom and ride. And I have a husband who understands my quiet nature, who also cherishes solitude and loves the smell of horses.
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