Have you ever secretly found yourself shuddering as you do something that reminds you of your parents? The other day I found myself in the car, listening to the news with my husband while we discussed some current event or other. Mid-discussion I could feel my brain begin to curl up in horror; you sound exactly like your parents it screamed! I should probably clarify I have absolutely nothing against my parents, I adore them and quite honestly would love to be exactly like they are when I grow up…you know someday down the line when robots do our laundry and cars fly to beat rush hour traffic.
Until you have a child of your own you can kind of slack off a bit on the whole ‘grown-up’ thing. I mean obviously you need to pay your bills and show up to work etc. You have a certain level of responsibility but having a child takes that responsibility to a whole new super scary level! Or it did for me at least. You, perhaps, already have your s*** together and weren’t as shell-shocked by the reality of parenting as I was. And my husband. Yep I’m dropping him in it as well. I think we spent those early months of parenting smiling serenely while inside thinking F***! What were we thinking! We can’t be parents!!
I am calling bullshit on myself being a grown-up really as I still find myself calling ‘actual grown-ups’ whenever real life sends me into a tizzy. These ‘real’ adults are, of course, my long-suffering parents. In my mind they are the real adults and they know how to sort everything from a ridiculously high heating bill (we couldn’t have had the heating on that much could we? ) to the correct way to defrost chicken. But even worse than all these minor dilemmas is the fact that the last time I visited the dentist I actually asked my father to come with me. Yes I have dentist-phobia but still a 35 year old woman should probably be able to face all these things on her own right??
I keep expecting to reach a magical number one day when I wake up and think ‘yep, that’s it, I’m an official grown-up, nailed it!’ but as each birthday passes (and the years mount up) I find myself still feeling like a teenager wearing her mum’s clothes. Sometimes I even feel I am being a ‘fake’ grown up when I have conversations about more serious topics like religion or politics….Trump’s ridiculous hair counts as politics right?
It probably stems from insecurity, I don’t have enough faith in my own ability to ‘make it’ in the real world but I think, too, more and more people seem to be finding this whole adulting thing a bit of a challenge. Perhaps because it’s easier these days to remain young at heart – there is more freedom to do what you want, at whatever age you want. People go back to college as mature students, they travel the world on their pensions and we now call ‘colouring’ an exercise in mindfulness. There is a real feeling of recapturing your inner child at the minute so actually I am probably quite on trend!
When I was a child I imagined grown-up me would have it all totally figured out by now; own a house (still renting), have a career (this is a work in progress pardon the pun) and plenty of money in the bank (ha ha). I guess because I most definitely don’t have everything figured out (not even close) I don’t feel deserving of the title of ‘adult’. Adults are the ones who know exactly what they are doing right? As it turns out nobody really knows what they are doing and you only realise this when you get drunk with other ‘adults’ and everyone confesses that they haven’t a clue what they are doing either!
In reality we are all just muddling along and leaping each obstacle as it comes along. The thing is, though, that while I may never actually feel like I have ‘grown-up’, my daughter believes I know everything and in her eyes, at least, I have it sorted!