Tuesday, October 11, 2005

 

you know what I mean

"Don't you feel so grown up?" C-note's voice wafted out from the kitchen, cheery and optimistic.

And I had to answer in this whiny, un-grown up like voice, "Umm....not really"

She was surprised, said that I'm going to my real job tomorrow and we're sitting in the apartment and we're just chilling. We are so grown up!

And I don't know, I pictured grown-upness to be totally different. Sure, I'm still in the freshman year of the real world, but it's just not what I pictured, and still find myself imagining occasionally. My picture of this mysterious real world is rather hazy - I think I'm actually conjuring some tampon commercials or something - fit, beautiful girls wearing white pants and sexy yet classy tops and laughing at the bar with handsome, mature gentlemen.

And then I see myself in the mirror and I'm wearing my sweatshirt from senior year of high school and my windpants from freshman year of high school (Okay, I feel kinda psyched that they still fit, but it does have an elastic, so it's not that big of a deal...). And I see my face and that annoying zit that just showed up today, how mature. But then I notice my hair. It's in an elastic, and it's loose and messy, but it looks okay. And my dangly earrings. They're not super mature, but they work. I suddenly feel like a grown up.

And it seems like while I feel like a 12 year old, sometimes I feel like a capable, mature adult at the same time. Sometimes I think that deep down, I feel as though one day I'll wake up and be like "Oh! I am 30! I am ready for this!" As if I'll be a different person, one mindset exchanged during the night for another. But really...it seems like life is about taking steps that you don't feel ready for. Of doing things, and thinking "wow, I totally don't feel like I'm 18/20/22. I can't believe I'm a senior in high school/walking around college/living in an apartment."

Sometimes I feel grownup. Like when I'm on the metro with all the other faceless people, heading back from work. But then sometimes I feel like a kid, like when I sat down today in Dupont Circle and ate a PB & J alone.

But what is "feeling grown up," exactly? Because I just said that I felt grown up when I was feeling all tired and sort of dead inside. Part of the "faceless crowd." And I felt like a kid when I was sitting on a slightly rainy bench, throwing my crusts to the birds.

I think being grown up is finding a mix between the mature and the immature. The practical and the fun. Going to work, but doing your job wearing a hot pink skirt. Getting the coffee, but grabbing a doughnut along with it. Crossing the street, but being goofy enough to help a guy who is sitting in the back of a minivan cab at a crosswalk shut the sliding door because he has his hands full with architecture tubes and his cell phone.

Okay, that really just happened yesterday and I wanted to say it. That's not really related to being grown up and acting like a kid.

on that note...I'm out. Sorry this is so disorganized!

Comments:
why are you working at a real job? you should be off writing your first novel that will only be published to a limited audience but you will look back on thinking what a decent first step to becoming a pullitzer prize winner it was...
 
"laughing at the bar with handsome, mature gentlemen."

haha, somebodies been looking in the wrong place for handsome, mature gentlemen!
 
couldn't agree more - life really is all about taking steps you're not ready for. the trick is just to hold your breath and jump right in. because if you think about it for just one second, you might talk yourself out of something truly great. we say this a lot in med school - "fake it till you make it." and i think it's true for most of life, too. you gotta just pretend like you're competent, even when your insides are all twisted up and screaming "i have no idea what the heck is going on!!!" until one day, all of a sudden, you wake up and realize you're a little less clueless than you were the day before. and really, that's all you can ask for. :-)
 
I don't know, that sounds EXACTLY like what being a "grown-up" is to me.
 
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