I keep waiting to feel like a grown-up.
I don’t know if this is a common theme but it’s been bothering me more and more lately. This idea that I’m just going through the motions, with absolutely no clue what I’m doing, and the pervasive fear that someone will realise that I’m still on the fake it part of fake it ’til you make it.
Technically, I’m an adult. I don’t always act or look the part but I am. I have an apartment and a significant other and a large, fluffy dependant. I have bills and obligations and nephews and in-laws and I still feel like a recalcitrant teenager.
I still sometimes want to lock myself in my bedroom and blast my music, I still periodically think ramen is a valid dinner food. I still have to set 6 alarms just to drag myself out of bed in the morning.
Despite this, I do get up in the morning, I include most of the food pyramid in the meals I cook at night and I don’t lock myself in my bedroom while loudly alienating my neighbours. I live with the consideration of responsibility and I’m not sure when that became my life. Was the lack of parental supervision the tipping point? Do we all just one day look around and go “well shit, I guess that’s my job now.” despite having no real clue how to do it?
I’m really starting to believe that ‘Adults’ are just like Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. They’re a concept created to control children, to hide the fact that nobody really grows up. Ever. We all just seem to slowly morph into something we deem more socially acceptable.
But does anybody feel like they actually live up to the image we’re all so zealously promoting?
Personally I never lost the desire to throw an epic tantrum in a public place, I just learnt that I probably shouldn’t although I’m still not entirely sure of why. Some situations may actually be more effectively handled by repeatedly screaming NO! at the top of my lungs.
I cant help but feel that it’s a decision as much as some kind of natural personal evolution, that it’s more design than instinct. So who’s design are we copying? Where did we find this image we seem to feel compelled to emulate?
I sometimes feel like I’m still a toddler playing with coloured blocks, trying to stack up all the pieces – money, job, hobbies, social, – in a teetering tower, searching for an impossible balance before it all, once again, comes tumbling down. Constantly fooling myself into thinking that if I can devote all of my time and energy to just one thing then I’ll be able to then work my way down the list, like it works that way. Like one thing at a time is actually in anyway a realistic option.
Thinking that as long as that one thing is working then everything else is suddenly manageable, at least until I look up and realise I’ve been lulled into this false sense of security of doing the same thing over and over with the expectation of a different outcome, like I’ve somehow forgotten that that’s the very definition of insanity.
So here I am, trying to look like I’m holding it all together while I’m just quietly, privately raging against all of these new, unexpected limitations and expectations.
Raging against a lifetime of coddling ego boosts that have tried to convince me that I (like every child is told) can do anything, be anything. The reality is, of course, that it’s nothing but a nice idea and a false promise that’s left me (and a huge chunk of my generation) with an uncomfortable mantle of entitlement and a skewed perception of my own potential.
Which is why I’ve found a special kind of failure in starting over yet again with nothing but an awkward attempt at personal growth and it feels like there should be more to show for what it’s cost.
The lost time and wasted emotion and sacrificed dreams that have become little more than casualties of the ‘real world’. All of which pale in the cold light of day when the only thing that’s clear is that I still have absolutely no fucking clue what I’m doing or where I’m going.
But maybe I don’t need to know.
Maybe I’ll just detour via Neverland and take the scenic route this time around, see if I can figure it out on the way.