I remember wearing a bra for the first time. It showed in my walk, the kick I got from that. It was like a certificate with adulthood stamped all over it. I was big. Grown up.

I remember the first time I got periods. This thing that I knew and I was n’t to tell my brothers. Something grown up about knowing a secret, all women knew.

Then when boys started holding eye contact for a tad longer than what was required. Boy-footsteps following me back home from college. Whistles and sniggers, which gave me this funny ego boost.

Then going to university. My first boyfriend. My first Love. My first kiss. Graduation. First job. Giving Mama a pocket money.

Everytime I had this realization, that whatever I felt before was just stupid. It was ‘Now’ that I was an adult. Whatever came before just dulled in comparison always, and the realization always had these happy bubbles popping in my heart.

But today when I was sitting across my fiance, with this dull throbbing pain in my heart, knowing that we painted the picture of ‘bored couple at the restaurant’ perfectly to the last dot, is when I just Knew it, that it was never before this moment. It was today, that I  finally reached that point. I sat there through churning insides. through the bile rising in my throat. through the tears. through an acute pain and hollow sadness. I sat there. Holding his hands and telling him that I love him. I was alone, fingers locked with his, I was a sad lonely person, with nothing but that stamp of adulthood on my forhead. Grown up. I wasn’t big. I was old.

Adulthood, turns out has nothing to do with boobs, sex and a pay cheque. It has nothing to do with ‘No-curfews’ and independance. It has everything to do with responsibility and living with your actions and their consequences. Its saying ‘yes’ when your insides are yelling ‘no’. Its saying ‘I love you’ to the person you respect yet not love, the way you are supposed to. Its understanding that your life is attached to a million others. The butterfly effect. The domino effect. How it all applies to your life and the actions you take. Its saying farewell to impulses. Its cajoling the child inside you and telling it that it will be okay while acting  older than your age in front of the world. Its decadence. Its making the people around you happy. Its worrying about your parents. Its doing the right thing.

So amidst rings of smoke and tasteless restaurant food, I finally understood adulthood. Understood it and then embraced it.