There’s being an adult, and there’s being an Adult. I am here to tell you from experience that turning eighteen does not make you an Adult. At least, it didn’t for me. Turning twenty-one, graduating from college, getting married, buying a house, it still didn’t make me feel like an Adult. Age is just a number. The wedding was planned by my parents, and the house was purchased by my husband, who was at that time my fianceé. It felt like I lived my entire life with someone always there, helping me along, validating my decisions, telling me if my choices were right or wrong.
What made me finally feel like an Adult was the very first time my husband and I took a long trip that was planned by and exclusively paid for by us. Before that, it was always family trips, going here and there with mom and dad or the in-laws. Our honeymoon was even paid for, which was awesome, but there was never any of that anxiety that came from this particular trip.
Over Labor Day weekend, we flew from Houston to Seattle for Penny Arcade Expo 2013, a huge gaming convention that was the BEST convention I’ve ever been to. But I angsted over everything. I had constant terrors that I had somehow messed up the flights (the first flights I’ve ever booked or paid for). I feared that I somehow screwed up the hotel room (it was through a third-party reservation service and I had no confirmation number) and we’d have nowhere to stay once we got there. And our badges for PAX came in so late that I was constantly checking twitter for updates concerning when I would actually receive my badges (they cancelled some badges because people exploited a computer glitch and I was afraid mine might have been mistakenly cancelled and I wouldn’t have known until it was too late.) Once we got there, would we have transportation to our hotel? Would we make our 6:35AM flight back to Houston on the Tuesday morning after the convention? Can you even arrange transport that early? Would we get tired of the several block walking distance from our hotel to the convention? Were there places to eat nearby? Having never been to Seattle, I had no idea. I was a puddle of stress the night before our trip. Sleep wouldn’t come, which was bad considering we had to get up at 3:30 the next morning to get ready and leave in time for our flight.
Well, it all worked out. The flights were fine, something the email and confirmation numbers told me, I just didn’t listen. The hotel was perfect and in a great location, a few minute walk from the convention, but also really close to the Pike Place Market, where there were all sorts of yummy places to eat. Our badges arrived the week before the convention, which happened to everyone. Talking to other convention-goers at PAX, most everyone was pretty anxious about getting their badges on time. They got sent out late. Yes, you can arrange for a car to pick you up at 4:30AM to take you to the airport in time for your flight. It’s not nearly as cheap as the light rail, but unfortunately, the much cheaper transport doesn’t run quite that early. We learned a lot about public transportation, something I don’t get to use a lot here in Houston. Seattle does a great job of it, though.
This trip really helped me to realize that I can do it on my own. I can plan a trip, book flights and hotel rooms, and make arrangements. Will I be anxious the next time we take a trip? Probably. But most of that will just be because I’m excited.