i’m not really sure what i thought about then when i was thinking about now. most of that uncertainty may actually be the fact that i don’t remember if i ever looked this far ahead.
but today as i sat scanning pages and pages of health care information and deciding if i wanted the bronze or platinum plan i felt like i hadn’t thought grown up life would be this. when thinking about being grown up one tends to conveniently leave out vital parts of actually being grown up. it’s not necessarily a purposeful act of omission as much as it is the giant unnkown that is a “grown up.”
i definitely didn’t fantasize about sitting in rush hour traffic, inching through the miles. or clutching number A218 at the dmv while the next number flashes up on the screen… A008. or scouring housing listings on-line. or opening bank accounts. or paying hundreds of dollars on plane tickets that only yield a quick weekend home. or going to work even if i don’t want to. or having to pay the phone, cable, rent, credit card, loans, car insurance… or convincing someone to hang up your curtains after they have gathered dust on your floor for a month. or making my stomach ache over younger siblings. or answering a slew of questions to assess how much i pay annually for renter’s insurance. or deciding where in the world you are moving, because really, you could move anywhere. or having to wash all the clothes and all the dishes and cook and buy all the food. or calculating taxes. or being in a far away land speaking a different language. or being alone.
as much as i try to pretend i’m not getting old – today i stared at that paper work to finally have health insurance after four years of winging it. page four asked me to assign my beneficiaries for my life insurance. beneficiaries. in the case that i was gone – i had never even thought about that.
i paused, just for a moment and then wrote:
Primary Beneficiary: Rachel Tanner Relationship: Sister
Secondary Beneficiary: Asia Tanner Relationship: Sister
i signed and dated the page. i reached across the desk to give her my paperwork… i was briefly struck with the reality of my mortality. the her to whom i handed the paperwork didn’t smile as much anymore. her eyes were dead… it has only been a few weeks since an unfortunate accident took the man she loved. and here i was, amazed that i had to think about beneficiaries. something else i expected to not have to deal with until i was grown up.
when did i grow up?