I got through labor on gas and air; I liked the gas and air very much. Too much, in fact. I got high. I said things like, “This is like when I was fourteen and sniffed Tippex thinner in geography!” and “People should come in here just for the gas and air!” The doctor put my daughter in my arms. I felt very overwhelmed and scared that I was not equipped to look after her because I had no idea what the hell I was doing. Still, there came no epiphany from the Angel Grown Up, who was probably busy getting high on her own gas and air.
I made final go of passing over into adulthood not so long ago, this time by proposing to my boyfriend (at the party following my UK book launch, no less). If I'm being really honest, I did it mostly because — already a mother and the owner of a flat — I was ready for the next adventure.
"Why don't you propose to Elis?" a friend asked. So I downed a lot of tequila, and then I did — right in front of our friends, where he couldn't say no. Honestly, that evening is a bit of a blur. I know he said yes, and then I hissed, “You’ve still got to pay for the ring!” He did. But we forwent an expensive engagement bauble, since I'm scared I'll wind up baking it into a cake or flushing it down the loo by mistake. Some things just never change.
So what have I learned after passing the checkpoints that mark the so-called gateways to adulthood? Turns out, no one knows what they hell they're doing, least of all me. And anyone who says otherwise is telling a fib.
Real estate, parenthood, and marriage do not a grown-up make. For that reason, I've stopped waiting for the moment that I suddenly feel like I've been handed the keys to the kingdom. But no matter when it catches up to me, I am still looking forward to the day I can officially count myself as old and wise. Then, like Jenny Joseph said, "I shall go out in my slippers in the rain / And pick flowers in other people's gardens / And learn to spit." Sounds like the life, doesn't it?
Isy Suttie is an English comedian and writer, and the author of The Actual One: How I Tried, And Failed, To Remain Twenty-Something Forever.