08.24.12 Truth & Wisdom
When I was 12, I dreamed of what life would be like once I became an adult. 30 years old… I thought, barely able to imagine such a thing. I’ll be married, working in television in a high-powered job, a great mother to three children. I’ll wear designer clothes and matching underwear by day, cook nutritious meals at night, my hair never moving from its perfectly coiffed bob. I had probably watched too many Hollywood romantic comedies. Now I am 30, and life looks much different.
Surrounded by a pile of unopened bills, I sit eating cereal for dinner, and consider accepting a date with a guy I don’t really like, on the off chance he may buy dinner and save my bank account from negative numbers. But then, I remember, I haven’t done my washing, and in any case my clothes are usually wrong, my underwear only matches by accident, and I can never get my hair to sit the way it should, having not mastered the mysterious art of the blow dryer. Occasionally, there is a small window of time where I find myself perfectly groomed; hair freshly cut and colored, nails manicured, eyebrows waxed, legs shaved, but all too soon everything is disheveled once more, overdue… and then some.
My to-do list mocks me with all the things I haven’t done, preferring to sit in the sun and read my book instead. At the end of each week, I vow to be better. Grabbing my notebook, I scribble all the ways I am going to be more productive. This week, I write, I will get up at 7am, be at the gym by 8am, work and run errands for the rest of the day. But then my morning alarm goes off, and a loud voice in my head convinces me that surely a flexible wake up time is the best thing about being a freelancer, and shouldn’t I take advantage of that? So I get up later, tick one simple task off my list, and give myself the day in the sun reading my book as a reward for being so productive.
There are small signs of adulthood here and there; a headshake at a careless teenager on a skateboard, outrage at young hooligans stealing cheese from my plate at a recent party, the use of the word hooligan in everyday conversation. And whenever I talk to someone below the age of 22, I definitely feel old.
I know adults exist. And ones my age too, Facebook has made me all too aware of this fact, my news feed bursting with shining faces of happy families, married, with kids and real jobs. I can barely look after myself and am frequently without a pen.
I tell one of my married mother friends my fears that I am not yet a grownup like she is, pointing to her Facebook photos as evidence, but to my surprise, she laughed. “Oh… I don’t feel like a adult!” she says, shaking her head.
“Really?” I reply in disbelief, “But you’re a parent! You’re supposed to be wise and give sage advice and stuff.”
“Mostly, I just wing it…” she confessed with a shrug, making me feel a whole lot better.
Maybe we never have everything completely together, feel like we are truly grown-up and able to call ourselves an adult? Maybe it’s all part of the inherent fun of being human, figuring things out right up to the end. Or maybe I’m just really disorganized. I’d make a note to think more about it, but I can’t seem to find a pen.