As I was leaning against my kitchen counter this morning, taking a sip of my half-caff coffee (I didn’t have enough decaf and didn’t want the grinder to wake the baby), I took a look at the alphabet magnets on the fridge and had a realization that hit me like a, well, a refrigerator.

My God, I’m an adult.

Granted, this realization involved a fact of which I am plainly aware; I had just forgotten it for a few moments. This happens quite a bit, actually. Usually it’s when I’m running around the apartment after a shower, trying to find my pants, that I walk in and realize there is a baby taking a nap in the living room. A baby…who was created as a result of being married to my husband.

When the hell did that happen? (Okay, obviously, I know when that happened. If you’re not trying to be a jerk, you’ll get my drift.) Wasn’t it, like, yesterday that I was staring longingly at the yuppy/hippie (I call them yippies) men in the student union, positive that I was going to die alone and unhappy? Or with someone and terribly bored? Or as a direct result of eating the campus Taco Bell?

Let me stop where I am before I really piss off some people: I do not believe that being married and having a kid are the main criteria used to determine someone’s status as an adult. That just happens to be how my adulthood has taken form. I know that there are plenty of single people without kids out there who are more adult than I am.

Anyway, when I have these “epiphanies of the obvious,” something that always pops up in my head are little chunks of wisdom I wish I could give to a younger Lauren. Don’t get me wrong; I’m happy with where I am now, but had I known a few of these things, I may not have been so stressed out.

I would love to go back in time and say:

On high-school crap:
Hey. You’re not Molly Ringwald. Your high school stuff does not have enough importance to warrant a full-length movie. Only a very small percentage of your high school problems are actually going to matter in the future, and that percentage probably doesn’t have much to do with high school.
On not drinking alcohol:
Keep it up. A few years from now, you’re going to be very proud of yourself for never having to lie on your stomach in a pool of cornfield-water while hiding from the cops.
On the ever-stressful issue of college theatre:
Hmm. Guess what? You’re attending college in a very small university town. The fact that you didn’t get cast does not mean that you are the world’s worst actor. Now, in a few years, you may notice your ego inflating. Let’s also remember that, for the same reason, getting cast in a bunch of shows does not mean you are the world’s best actor, either. Nobody likes an obnoxiously pompous Theatre major.
On the inevitable occurrences of emotional angst:
Yeah, I know you’d rather grab some Mint Chocolate Chip and watch the Princess Bride, but you should really start on that paper. No, seriously, Past Lauren, you should start on it now.

As I said, this whole “realization” thing is something that happens quite a bit, so I’m always thinking of new things to tell my younger, less emotionally mature self. Not that I’m the world’s most emotionally mature woman, but I’d say I’ve definitely obtained some wisdom. Either way, I’m sure there will be more Advice for my Younger Self in the future.

Speaking of realizations…I’m off to work on the budget.