When I grow up
I was talking to one of my childhood friends a few days ago (yes, someone has actually freely chosen to be my friend for decades), and it hit me.
She’s a grown up.
When did that happen?
It’s not that she’s not just as fun to talk to and hang out with as she’s ever been, but she’s also married with three kids, a house, a dog and all that grown up stuff. She’s got responsibilities all over the place, and I’m mostly worried about if I remembered to feed my hamster (I did), or pay my light bill last month (I didn’t).
It got me wondering, when will I feel like a grown up?
As things stand now, I have a full-time job, I pay my own bills and I do have a dog, but I still don’t feel very grown up at all. There are many times when I feel just about as clueless about things as I did when I was a kid.
Half the time, I feel like an imposter just pretending to be an adult. Any moment now, someone will point at me and yell, “Don’t listen to her! She doesn’t know what she’s talking about! She’s just a kid!” and my cover will be blown.
Or maybe it’s all just a front, and everybody feels this way to a degree until we’re all too old to care anymore.
Were my parents really this unsure about everything? When they were doing their best to “parent” my siblings and me, were they walking a narrow path hedged thickly with uncertainty, just hoping they weren’t screwing up too badly? When they were dispensing all those words of wisdom, advice, warnings, admonishments and love, did they worry that they were doing it wrong?
Huh, what a thought.
And here I grew up thinking they were all-knowing and all-powerful (at least until about 13, when clearly, they suddenly know NOTHING about life and can’t possibly understand the complexities of being a teenager).
Now that I see all those friends I grew up with, and those I’ve met further down the road, struggling with life as an adult — whether it’s raising their children the best way they know how or, in my case, remembering to take out the trash — I realize none of us have all the answers. None of us do it right all the time, and sometimes we definitely make mistakes.
But maybe that’s a good thing. If we have all the answers, we’ll stop asking the questions, and that’s no fun for anybody, no matter your age.