Growing up is hard.
There’s a reason Peter Pan is such a popular story to this day: everyone can relate to it. While we’re sitting here in our cubicles or pantyhose or trying to figure out rent money or looking at the expired yogurt in the fridge and wondering why our moms aren’t here to throw it out, there’s always going to be a part of us that just goes, “Fuck this.”
But somehow, for the most part, we don’t because we’ve grown up and we realize that desks and pantyhose and giving other people money and maybe just eating things before they expire is part of the whole deal. We get independence in return.
For someone like me, trying to focus your mind on one single goal is quite possibly the most difficult thing in the world. I’m lucky my parents allowed me to be free and ultimately weren’t as concerned as other parents about their daughter’s attention span – no Ritalin for this girl in her life. Sure, I find the little things hard to focus on – watch me try to clean the bathroom and you’ll find me five minutes later in the living room organizing books by title because while I was scrubbing the vanity it occurred to me that it would be a better system. It goes without saying, then, that the larger things are hard to focus on, as well.
What do I want in life? Other than everything, you mean, yes?
I want a bakery which might also be a cafe which might also be a bar. I want a bookshelf full of books and then another bookshelf full of books and then a room full of books and to have all the time to read them all but still somehow working so that I can manage to afford them all. I want to see the world and work to travel but also start a career. I want to listen to all the music I possibly can. I want to write a book or possibly be a journalist or maybe go into publishing. But wait, what about that cafe? Maybe be a world-traveling, cafe-owning, book writing/publishing/owning guru with time to make delicious meals and own a large, curly-haired dog.
Maybe even get married one day but not so married that I can’t do everything I want. Half married. That’s a thing, yes?
See what I mean?
I know for a fact that I’m not alone in this swampy, muddled mess of goals and dreams and real life. It makes me feel better knowing that every time I pull a shirt out of my closet that needs to be ironed and I basically stare at it with disdain before thinking, “But why can’t it just be wrinkle-free to start with?”, that I’m not the only one who feels that way. Because is there anything more grown up than ironing?
No. There’s really not.
I’ve started to make a list of things I want in life and prioritizing them. With prioritizing comes honesty, with myself and the life that I’m creating. What am I more okay with – working a whatever job so that I can finally see Eastern Europe and the west coast of the States, or starting a career and building a name for myself and gaining experience with what I love to do? Is going back to school for something writing-related the best path for me or am I just looking for something new because I’m bored? Can I really wait until my parents come over to try to coerce my mom into throwing out that yogurt? (That one is a no, I’m aware, but don’t think I haven’t considered).
I feel like the older you get the harder growing up gets. When you’re sixteen and you’re getting older and learning new things and discovering things about yourself, it’s still fairly fun. Even when you get your heart broken for the first time, there’s an odd element of excitement to it because it’s new. Even when you have to figure out what you’re going to do in university but actually have no clue because you’re seventeen and you’re not fully cooked yet, it’s fun because it’s new. Even when your mom asks you to throw out the slimy lettuce for the first time and you try not to gag because it’s disgusting, it’s… no, that one was never fun but at one point it was new. As you get older, these things are no longer experiences – they are rote. So fast forward ten years and you’re still trying to figure out what to do when you grow up and how to cure heartbreak and why all those tips on Pinterest for keeping produce fresh don’t work – it’s not so fun anymore.
I just want to embrace the not knowing, the excitement that goes along with having no fucking clue about your life because I did that for a month in Ireland and it was one of the best months of my life. And Girls has taught me that’s what your twenties are all about, yes?
Growing up is hard. But I’m just going to find the fun in it.
And try not to worry my parents too much while I’m at it.