The city makes you grow up slower

…or, at least that is my excuse.

Yet another birthday has passed. Related: I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want out of life.

Yes, the heavy stuff. Houses, kids, career, experiences—the whole nine yards.

I’ve also been thinking about what my 19-year-old self would think about where we are today. She would certainly expect us to be a real grown-up—married, living in a lovely house with a few kids running around and writing for a fabulous magazine.

Well, at least I’ve got the married part down.

I have no regrets about moving to the city. But it’s dawned on me—the city has made me “grow up” by society’s definitions a little slower. The biggest reason? Cost of living. Rent, groceries, utilities, gas, parking tickets, vet bills—everything in the city costs more. Mortgages are also more expensive, so it’s harder to save up for a proper down payment. Especially with all the wonderful distractions around like tasty restaurants, fancy bars, shows, and shopping.

And babies! Dear lord, people ask nonstop about when we’re having babies. Probably because we’ve been married three and a half years. And that’s what grown-up, married people do. It’s in our future, but I can’t yet fathom affording childcare, having enough apartment space, or taking babies on public transportation. My dear friend Megan makes having a baby seem completely manageable and even fun. It’s encouraging.

Grown-up or not, I think my 19-year-old-self would be pretty pleased about our life. We have a great husband, amazing friends and awesome experiences under our belt.

Look at these awesome “grown-ups.” Life is good.

For now, I’ll convince myself that I have the rest of my life to be grown up.

Where do you stand? Has the city made you grow up slower?



Filed under Chicago, culture, random

3 responses to “The city makes you grow up slower

  1. Meh. “Grown up” is a very subjective definition. I know a lot of people that have a marriage, house, kids, career…blah blah and are GIANT CHILDREN.


    I wouldn’t worry about it so much. Sucks that people bother you about having kids because there is a timeline stuck in their heads.
    We decided to have kids because #1 I had biological baby fever which hits people at different times and #2 I didn’t view it as losing anything. I was happy before and happy now. And if anything, I have gained things.

    You march to what ever beat your little heart wants to. You can do what you want, because you are a grown up. ❤

  2. Pingback: Growing Up, Or Not | Bending the Rules

  3. Jo

    I totally hear you on the slow growing up phase in life…and I do sorta blame the city as well. But then again, maybe it’s just that we were never meant for this grown-up world in the first place.

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