This is a reader submission for our Big Girl Badge week. Tell us how you evolved from woman-child to woman, and you could win hundreds of dollars of prizes! (Send your 800 word submissions to Jennifer [at] or Ashley [at] 

I have wanted to be a grownup since I was about three years old. Seriously. I guess I was a fairly cute child, and growing up with blue eyes and freckles in Honduras meant I got a lot of attention from passersby. When they’d stop and exclaim to their friends to admire the “chichí” (Honduran slang for baby), I’m told I used to become angry, stamp my foot, and insist I was a grownup. Apparently this was hilarious.

What was it about adulthood I so coveted? I think it was mostly what I perceived to be an adult’s freedom and independence. As an adult, I could manage my own household, come and go from it as I pleased, travel anywhere in the world that interested me, and engage in tantalizing adult conversation at dinner parties rather than be relegated to the kids’ table. People would trust me with responsibilities, I would earn a position of leadership at my job, and at home I would have a dog that I had personally trained to be the Best Dog Ever.

I guess I was a strange kid. Now that I’ve reached the sophisticated age of twenty-­‐four I think I’ve probably become extremely boring, but I’m pretty sure I’m also succeeding at being a grownup. I graduated with good grades from a selective private high school while also managing to teach myself to be a backyard beekeeper and become fairly accomplished on the violin, viola, and highland bagpipes. I went on to a prestigious liberal arts college, where I graduated early, with honors.

While I was there I founded what would become a popular club, engaged in independent research projects, and maintained my bagpiping skills by practicing before classes began in the mornings.

Post graduation I was accepted into a PhD program and moved across the country to start my studies, and that’s what I’m doing now. So far I’m on track to graduate in a few years, I’ve recently married my college sweetheart, we have a tidy apartment close to campus, I have time to be involved at my church, and I’ve never been in debt. I hope to be a university professor eventually. I can roast a duck, bake a pie, paint a house—inside or out, hang drywall, converse in three languages, harvest honey from a beehive, train a horse, sail a boat, evaluate a used car…my only problem is I’ve been such a straight-­‐shooter all my life that I don’t seem to have any amusing anecdotes to share about my growing up process. I think I was born a grownup.

Yawn? Maybe so, but I have to say I’m enjoying myself. I’m able to make time to do the things I care about, I’m able to come and go from the home I so coveted as I please, I have traveled all over Europe, North Africa, China, and Central America, I am invited to dinner parties and can make conversation with aplomb, and I am engaged and fulfilled by my job. I like being in charge of things, and I do a good job when I am. Whenever I’m in danger of seeming too boring I can always bust out the bagpipes. Or bees.

Hopefully the Best Dog Ever will come soon.