Feeling Grown Up.
There are some things in life that creep up on you, there are other things that happen all at once, even if you are not paying attention. Growing up is one of those surprise things and it can be as subjective as beauty and innocence. Everyone has different standards because everyone has different standards for themselves. There are constant signposts along the way to growing up and some days are better than others. The best way to deal with these fluctuations is to blame other people and put it all on someone else, calling them immature because face it, we all act like children sometimes while children can sometimes act much wiser than their years.
Admittedly, growing up was something that always terrified me. For my entire life, I have done everything in my power to remain a kid, not only at heart but in thought and deed as well. It’s a blessing and a curse sometimes. Growing up always seemed like a terrible bore to me, not really something to strive for. Then it happened, I couldn’t help it and I put up a good fight.
My last two jobs made it quite obvious that there is a distinct line that has been drawn between my generation and this current one. First was a water park for the summer, it was horrible. Standing in the hot sun all day with kids that had absolutely no personality and watching families having fun and playing. Being one of the only people of age, most days I did this hung over too and puked on a few people who shouldn’t have been wearing bathing suits that they ran around in with pride. If I had not figured out how to rip them off on my shifts, I never would have made it there without killing someone.
The next job was slinging coffee to the masses. Another pointless job made for kids not grown-ups. Although this was one of the cases where some of the kids were more mature than some of the adults. I wanted to strangle most of them every day. If you grow up and find out that you are not worth anything more than that, it hurts. What was the point of growing up? How was I supposed to survive like that? Eventually I lost it and gave up on the beaten path. Some may say that what I did was wildly immature, I think it is incredibly mature to recognize that I was unhappy and brave to make the changes needed to make it better. Much like having kids, I am mature and responsible enough to realize that I am nowhere near mature or responsible enough to have a kid. If you think about how many people out there who bring children into this world when they are not ready, you will get it. I wish more people would grow up and figure that out too but since the world is already overpopulated, I guess the damage is done already.
So now here I am, trying to take myself seriously as a writer. Doing things like my own taxes, going on diatribes about the world and putting together books for publishing. Friday nights pass and instead of going out to bars and getting hammered while some band plays, I do things like make resumes, apply for jobs in pay scales I have never earned before in my life and work my ass off to build the career I have always dreamed of. Some of my favorite bands have played recently and I just couldn’t bother to move from in front of my computer, I couldn’t stop writing. Now Saturday has come and gone in the same way. Now that I have a resume, I had to spend some time putting them up on different job searching sites. I am hoping for the best because I miss my friends, I miss going to bars with them. There are times where I convince myself that I have done really well for myself since changing my focus and I can say I am putting it all behind me but I now see a time where I emerge from my cave back into the world ready to make my hobbies and interests a paying profession. If that never happens then well, such as life and the nature of growing up.
If I am grown up enough to get my license taken away for drunk driving, I will eventually have to get past that stage of my life too. Now that I am here though, I still feel like I have a million more miles to go to really be a grown up. Getting married should be one of those things that means I am an adult but since he is as much of a big kid as I am, I doubt that will ever happen. I look forward to never having to grow up with someone even though we are going to grow old together.
Now that I have figured it out though, that yes, I really am a grown up, I can stop running from the facts finally. So what if 90% of my music collection is almost ten years old, who cares if I have found myself stuck in an era with entertainment. It’s all part of the process, just the way it goes. Scary stuff though. It’s like a new pair of shoes, it’s a feeling that needs to be broken in and shaped until it feels right. I consider myself lucky because I can finally see these qualities in myself, once this sort of potential can be grasped and understood anything is possible.
I don’t really question it anymore, I am happy that time in my life is over and for once I finally see light at the end of this endless tunnel. At the time, I remember being pretty freaked out about becoming a teenager too and that didn’t really go so bad in hindsight. No one ever said it’s easy to grow up or figure yourself out but the other part that they also don’t say, is that if you’re lucky, growing up will always be one of the greatest challenges in life and that if it is easy, you’re doing something wrong. Seeing this truth for what it is might be one of those side effects of feeling grown up.
3/4/2012 12:36 AM