ADULTING: You're never to old to never grow up, according to Tessa Patrick.
ADULTING: You're never to old to never grow up, according to Tessa Patrick. Contributed

The curious case of adult-ing

TODAY I celebrate a special kind of anniversary.

It's been a somewhat successful year of adult-ing, in my first adult job.

Navigating the world of phone bills and car servicing, living so close to the poverty line from time to time I'm never sure if the $20-til-next-Wednesday will give me enough fuel to get to the office each day. But I made it.

I've tackled cockroaches with a spraycan in my nightgown, I've successfully avoided being bitten by a snake - nan taught me to spray them with a hose, but I'm not sure how effective that is.

I've hoisted a double bed frame up three balconies with a single rope and two drunk Brazilians.

I've made it out of Ikea in one piece, with a semi-intact bank account and a porter to help me find my car. It doesn't get much better than this.

Sure, I've lived away from my childhood home for five years now, but the student life was somewhat comfortable.

Gross and mould-infested, but cosy and living was easy.

In journalism class we would spend three months working on a single feature. Nowadays I can be writing up to 30 stories a week.

I was always a casual employee, so I've learnt about annual leave - and why booking it so far in advance is necessary so you're not fighting with your colleagues in the playground at lunch about who gets to go to what festival.

I've assimilated into the 9-5 lifestyle and it's not as hard as it looks, but sometimes I don't feel that altogether.

Like when I meal prep for the week, but it's Monday and I've left my slowly defrosting peanut smoothie on the benchtop at home.

Or when I hit the gym before work, but forget to bring my shoes so spend the rest of the day bouncing about the office in trainers.

Even when I've found a great story lead, done the interview and written the article - before I realise I'm writing about Kenilworth, UK, and the people I have spoken to live on the other side of the world, not our charming hinterland town.

I might be an adult on the surface, but on the inside I still feel like a big, floundering idiot from time to time.

And I'm OK with that.

Each day it's a little bit of trial and error. Like putting the timer on your washing machine so you can hang out your linen before work or like making a shopping list before heading to the market so you're not buying every cantaloupe and lychee just because it looks fun.

But the lingering question is always in the back of my mind, 'who am I and what the hell am I doing?'.

I'm still stuck trying to find my place in this world and I think we live in a time where there is this freakish obsession with doing just that, instead of getting out there and living in it.

Mum would always tell me that she didn't know what she wanted to be until she was 40, and I would always say 'that's no use to me now, Debbie'.

As always, she was right.

We have a world to explore with trial and error - let's make the most of it.

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