Friday, September 6, 2013

On Being a Grown Up

I'll be honest here, I don't remember longing to be a grown up when I was a kid.  I could tell being a grown up had certain perks like a later bedtime and better TV shows, but I didn't aspire to be a grown up.

At one point I was up the street playing at a friend's house when her much older teenaged sister came through.  She was wearing funky stylish clothing, had beautiful long hair, and had painted graffiti on her bedroom wall.  I thought she was so cool.  I decided I wanted to be a cool teenager too, but not necessarily right then.  That's probably the closest I ever got as a kid wanting to be a grown up.

As I became an older kid (read: well into the teen years) I longed to get the hell out of the house.  That was very different from wanting to be a grown up.  My desire to leave wasn't because I wanted to do my own thing, have my own responsibilities, or do anything remotely grown up like.  It was strictly to get away from  an unhealthy environment. 
During my junior year in high school our English teacher tasked us with writing a paragraph on what being a grown up meant to us.  I was at a loss of what to write and finally put, "Being a grown up means you don't have to eat your peas if you don't feel like it."  It was a cop-out because I wasn't yet a grown up and I already didn't have to eat my peas if I didn't feel like it.  As I wound my way through my adult years I often thought of that assignment and realized that I still didn't have an answer to that assignment.

I went to college, that didn't make me feel like a grown up.  I worked a job, that didn't make me feel like a grown up.  I paid bills and had my own apartment, nope, didn't feel grown up.  I worked in the adult industry for awhile but not even that made me feel like a grown up.  I got married.  I attended weddings and funerals for people of my age.  I paid into a retirement fund.  I still wondered what it meant to be a grown up.  I asked a friend who had been in that junior English class.  She'd moved across country a couple of times, been married and divorced, and watched her house burn down.  She didn't feel anymore grown up than I did.  We made it a point to check in with each other on our grown up status every few years.

At some point we conceded that we were, indeed, grown ups and no longer wondered if we felt grown up.  We just assumed we were.  I guess the long awaited answer to my English class question is this: Being a grown up means you don't question if you are a grown up or not.  You just accept it as fact.

Sometimes I wonder if the kids who couldn't wait to be grown up felt like one much sooner.  If you were one of those kids, let me know.

The Fine Print: Cards by Club Scrap with some of my own embellishments thrown in.  "Tribal" August 2013 kit.  And hey, now that I am a grown up, I still have the same 9 pm bedtime, so much for that perk!


Heather Binnie said...

I couldn't wait to be a grown up so I could get married, have babies, sew clothes, make dinner, and change the wallpaper every two weeks.

I don't know what the hell was wrong with me.

Cute cards!

Awesomely Over-Zealous said...

Greetings! I have to say as a now grown-up a-dult, I retract my original sentiment of wanting to join the club. It's hard managing a bear-like hibernation and sloth-like lazy habits when you are required to work 40 hours plus care for another life among other things (the list is quite extensive). I'm looking forward to the reversal process; when you age your mentality reflects that of a childlike state: bring it. Have a great weekend!