You would think that by a certain point in life you would feel “grown up” right? I mean, when I was twelve or something, I imagine that I expected myself to feel like I was an adult by the time that I was twenty five or so. Just like I thought that all of my pimples would magically disappear at the age of eighteen, never to return.
So…it doesn’t work out that way. MAN, does it not work out that way! I think that many people feel the same. I told a close friend of mine recently that he was the adult that I looked up to to be adultier than I am. I had no idea that he would be so surprised or that it would mean so much to him.
I swear, I still feel like I just moved out of my parent’s house sometimes, and that I am still just playing house. Even after 14 years of marriage, seven foster kids, three biological ones that we are currently raising as teenagers, and jobs, and mortgages and, stocks, and wills, and life insurance…I still feel like I am totally unprepared for all of this shit.
This is not about how our educational system is a nightmare of epic proportions. I think that even if it actually did provide children the tools that they needed to go out into the world as adults with, they would still probably feel this way.
I come to realizations in my life everyday that make me want to smack myself in the forehead and say “How In The Hell…have I not figured this out before now!”
These are somewhat small realizations that can have absolutely earth shattering effects on the way that we live our lives. Have you ever thought to explore the meaning behind why you have certain behaviors? Once you start doing it the self-realizations are mind boggling!
Anyways, I don’t know whether it will work or not, but I have a lot of focus on getting grown up before I face that big fortieth birthday. Here are the principals that I am focusing my growing-up vibes on:
~ I am trying to stop looking back at the past and feeling guilty for the way that I did things before. Just because I have found a better way to do something doesn’t mean that I was doing it wrong before, and dwelling on past failures makes us less willing to adopt new habits.
~ I am paying some serious fucking attention to who I spend my time with. Although I recognize how important it is to reach out and have a positive effect on people who have different perspectives from my own, I have recognized that I owe it to myself to spend time with the people that I look up to and am inspired by rather than wasting my energy on the people who I feel that I am obligated to. We TRULY do become more like the people that we expose ourselves to the most often, and no person should ever feel obliged to expose themselves to people whom they don’t look forward to being with and learning from.
~ I am speaking my mind with more regularity. This one is a challenge for me. Growing up as an intelligent woman and learning from experience that the only way to remain socially accepted was to stay pretty, and to keep my fucking mouth closed, I have to work actively to fight the voice in the back of my head that keeps fearfully telling me to shut up and sit down. I am sticking with it though. If my heroes and mentors can all risk being offensive, then so can I. I just have to remember that the mouth is as mighty as the pen.
~ I am letting go. I can’t stand the fact that the words still make me think of the vapid Disney ice queen, but letting go is important, especially for those of us who are willing to go out there and say what we think. What good is that activity when we crawl home with our tails between our legs and sit up all night wondering what they must be thinking of us? Just let it fucking go.
~ I have FINALLY begun belonging. I am finally beginning to acknowledge communities of human beings that I actually want to be a part of. I have somehow gotten to the point in my life where I am okay with being something besides Kristin. It is kind of a whole new world (insert Disney theme), and for someone like me, it is a hell of a leap.
I have about nine months left and I promise to report back on whether I feel that I have managed to adult it up before next May. In practical terms, it may be the little things that truly make the difference. I subscribed to the Sentinel this week. I got my first actual physical paper newspaper this morning. I am going to have to get used to turning the pages, (I am a strong ANTI when it comes to finger licking), but I am damn pleased to report that REALLY enjoyed reading it. Adulting here I come.