It is official,
As of March 3, 2010 I am an adult.
The last 2 years of my life hav been a journey toward this moment. It began when I decided to get married. On that day, I knew that things were going to be different. I could no longer ask Mom and Dad for money. I could no longer move home. I would no longer make decisions for myself outside of what kind of cheeseburger I wanted from Wendy’s. At that moment my life was set on a definite path, a path that I feel gives new meaning to independence.
Not long after I decided to get hitched did it become appearant to me how incredible this journey really was going to be.Two months after I was engaged to my fiance, now wife, Amy brought up the idea that once we decided to have kids my little blue ford ranger wasn’t going to cut it. I suppose she was right, seeing as how I bought that thing 2 months before I even had my liscence. It had been 5 years, and was time to lay the blue bullet to rest. So I sold the truck to my Dad so my younger brother could have some highschool wheels. Next we began the journey of looking for a new car. Thus, the Lord parted the clouds and a beam of light fell upon a 2003 Toyota Rav-4. This was my first real leap toward becoming an adult. Car Payments. we walked into the bank, received our first laon togethor and purchased the Rav-4, taking on a 230 dollar a month bill. Allow me to express my anxiety!!!
Well, time went by, and making car payments was really no big deal afterall. My anxiety eased, my relationship with Amy was soaring, and the wedding was just around the corner. Wait, the wedding was just around the corner? Wow, I need to find a place for us to live!
Leap 2, The Apartment-I began the process 3 months before the wedding, which i now know is too much time to begin looking for an apartment. You spend so much time talking with agents, going on tours, all the while bobbing and weaving through the negotiation game. Finally, we landed on a place to live, The Pavillion Apartment Complex. It wasn’t ideal, because it wasn’t in the part of the city we would have preferered to live, but there was free parking and it fit within our budget. Again, the anxiety. How does one who works a part-time job afford almost 1,000 dollars a month in rent, and a car payment? Wait!!! combined incomes! Anxiety eases, but only after you I took leap number 3 to adult hood.
Leap 3, The Budget- This is an interesting process. You see how much money you have coming in after taxes vs. how much money you have going out. As it turns out, after you have an item line for groceries, gas, cell-phone, rent, car, entertainment, and discretionary income the anxiety returns when you realize what you have going out, is pretty much the same as what is coming in and saving for the future is really not an option. However, this too shall pass once you talk to a banker and figure out a savings plan!
Leap 4, The first Move- Six Months into marriage, I thought we I had a good handle on what it meant to be an adult. The bills were paid, food was in the fridge, and life was peachy. Then tragedy. After a brief visit for the thanksgiving holidays with Amy’s family her Mom suffered from a ruptured brain aneurysm. The following 2 months were a blur as our life was in transition at my workplace, grad-school loomed on the horizon, and now a family tragedy. This prompted Amy and I to nail down the choice to move from Chicago to Minnesota. The plan was already in process, but this was the real encouragement we needed to help solidify the decision we re doing the right things. The following year was one of living in an apartment we hated, making sacrifices for to pay the bills, and consistently wondering if we really did make the right choice. Turns out, we did.
Leap 5: A Townhouse- Some things are really meant to be cherished. The day we signed a lease on our first townhome is certainly one of them. I always considered Amy and I lower middle class. She had a full time job as a pre-school teacher, I was a part-time youth pastor, and as a result we both took on extra work to make ends meet. She would baby-sit for people in the area, and work over-time as much as possible. I got a job as a car-salesman, which really wasn’t so bad, accept that we just entered the worst economic year in history since the great depression. After months of little business at the dealership, i was laid off. I then proceeded the search for more work. Unfortunately, the last several months work has been hit or miss. I had to take on 4 Jobs! About 1 month after being laid off the dealership asked me to come work some special events, I then landed a job at the air-port de-icing air-planes and for the first 2months only logged 13 hours because of a lack of snow, and just recently began a job I love as a Middle School Technology Teacher. with all these Jobs combined we made enough money to afford a small upgrade in life. A town-house. I remember looking at places for 2 months. Going through corporations, and private owners looking for the best possible deal, that fit within leap 3 (The Budget). We found the perfect place. It cost just a little more than our apratment in Chicago, it had two car garage, 2 beds , 1 1/2 bath, and plenty of space livable space. Perfect. However. This was not the thing that really made me an adult. It just made it clear that all things come in due time. It is strange to really beleive that you have jumped a socio-ecomic barrier. Lower middle class to a solid middle class person. 2 cars, 1 motorcycle, 2 cats, 1 dog, a town-house, a tool-box, decorating, and your first bedroom set.
Leap 6, The Bedroom Set- Yesterday, I mentioned I became a real adult. The process as finally completed itself. When Amy and I first got married we were given a bed by her parents. This was a great bed, a little old, but it worked well enough. The problem was , it was a double, and I am a big guy so sharing this bed was a task. Aside, from the size it was a little lumpy, so we threw a futun pad (my old bed) on top of the mattress to provide some more cushion. this last six months, and probably would have lasted longer if we didn’t decide to move. After moving, we needed a new bed. However, we re financially strapped so I bought the cheapest thing i could find. total cost- $225 for a mattress, box spring, and frame. The frame was the most expensive part and I got that from Sam’s Club. This was our bed for 1 yr. It was okay, but made springy sounds everytime you rolled over. Not to mention, our cats go underneath the bed, ripped up the dark material that keeps the frame concealed and made this their new home. Whatever, it was a cheap bed, but it was our bed so we slept on it, and Loved it. We even evenutally sprang for a foam mattress topper. However, next week my Father is coming to visit us for the the first time since our move to minnesota. It quickly dawned on me, that even though we had a gust bedroom there was no bed in their! Hastily, Amy and I went to Slumberland furniture where we talked with a guy named Mike. That day we did alot of comparison shopping, but eventually landed on the perfect Set. This set was delivered yesterday. Now, instead of a $225 bed, and plastic bins from wal-mart as dresser drawers, we have an actual bed-room set. A beautiful 8 pc. bedroom set. 1 queen size pattress and box spring, a head board/foot board, an oversized dresser with mirror, and two night stands, one for her, one for me.
Upon arrival of the bed-room set I was overwhelmed with God’s blessing in my life. I was well taken care of, and every step of the way was completely satisfying, but only satisfying because it was challenging and required leaning on God’s graces for every provision. I am still working 3 of the 4 jobs, Amy still baby-sits and works over-time, but there is no doubt that none of this would be possible without God paving the way.
Yesterday, March 3 2010 at 10:43am I became an adult. I reminded of this by the laundry machine’s hum in the bakground