Being an adult SUCKS!
I nostalgically remember the days when I used to wish I could hurry and GROW UP so that I could be taken more seriously. I remember the days I wished for more independence and autonomy. Eventually time passed and I finally became an adult, a real one… damn, it’s not half as glamorous as I had once imagined!
I was a fake adult in my late teens and early twenties. I use to drink chai in a to-go cup on my way to University which was toooottaaallllyyy GROWN UP! At the same time however, I use to always carry my jacket on my arm during the dead of winter… less I put it on and it mess up my hair or clash with my outfit!! (Fake adult). I use to deposit my own cheques and pay for my own phone line at home. But every payday I use to run to Mariposa and buy a new shirt for the club that weekend. I thought I managed my money well, but when I would run out of cash before my payday came up, I would inevitably hit my cousin Sheeba up for 20 bucks to support my pint of Rickers Red habit the following Friday night at the Power Plant. (Fake adult). I use to help my parents clean the house - but I think at that time, “cleaning” only comprised of my room and the bathroom I used. I think I might have done my own laundry…well maybe folded it? Okay, at best, put it away. I remember being “mature” enough to fall in love and have a boyfriend in my first year of University – in that same breath, I definitely remember crying like a baby and the emotional tantrums I threw in my misguided attempt to lure/demand that love back when it flew away. Sigh.
Those were the days of reckless abandon and carefree living. Those were the days of idealism and unmanageable emotions. Those were the days when the most pressure I was under, was a busy Friday night at the hotel front desk I worked at maybe twice a week. Did I mention the days I use to opt to make dinner for the family…shake n bake and some Lipton’s sidekicks dish…macros weren’t even a thing back then.
Truth be told, being a real adult isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
It means aging parents. Watching my parents go from strong independent people to aged semi-dependents who need help driving, and doing tasks they would have otherwise managed easily on their how like shovelling snow or cleaning, is hard. It SUCKS to palpably experience their invincibility dissipate into vulnerability. It hurts my heart while frustrating me at the same time. It’s a lot to manage but at the same time, there’s nothing in the world I would rather do than help them – but did I mention how tired I am and how much I hate doing stuff when I’m tired?
Being an adult apparently means I am constantly tired. Being tired if I sleep less than seven hours is a guarantee. Gone are those days of getting into bed at 4:30a and waking up a few hours later with old mascara and new dreams.
It means full time work to pay for bills and mortgages. Gone are those days of breezy part time jobs and four hour shifts.
It means getting up by 8:30a on a Saturday and if I’m lucky a forced sleep in until 9:30a. Gone are those days of deep teenage ‘dead to the world’ sleeping until 1 or 2 in the afternoon.
Of course, being an adult means buying adult styled clothes. No wonder old people wear waist high pants or loose tshirts – gone are the days of low rise jeans, flat bellies and no back fat! Being an adult means taking selfie pics from higher angles to make one’s face look skinnier….
Being an adult usually means monogamous marriages. But for the assholes who can’t manage that responsibility, being an adult means that breaking up with cheating partners isn’t as easy as a long conversation, a mixed slow songs cd on repeat and a pint of ice-cream – not when children, mortgages, pension accounts, matrimonial homes and savings accounts are collateral damage. Gone are the days of flitty dating and coasting through different relationships depending on the direction of the wind that day.
Being an adult means I spend more time at work during the work week than anywhere else. These use to be a time, (when I was fake adulting), that I use to spend time working an eight hour day– and THEN go on to spend endless hours in the evening with friends. Hours upon hours of talking, laughing, hanging out, dinners, coffees or partying. The time spent ‘after work’ hours may have sometimes exceeded or come close to the number of hours I spent ‘during works’ hours. Now I swear that ratio feels like it’s 4:1 in favour of work.
Being an adult means sooooooooooo much responsibility and planning each minute of the day. Every minute counts. Like those minutes that I spend first thing in the morning washing dishes….or as soon as I get home, again washing dishes…or the ridiculous dishes that pile up again before bed. How about the minutes I spend checking in with my parents, sleeping, cooking, doing laundry, grocery shopping, meal planning, working out, budgeting, juggling friends and family time…minute to minute to minute to minute…remember the days of having all of the time in the world to breeze through life?
Being an adult means colouring my hair once a month, nothing fun and sassy though – just black. I can’t do red because it will show my gray too quickly, and heaven forbid I do blond streaks again! I mean, sure blonde would be fun and sassy….but who cares now about fun and sassy?! Blond would damage my hair, and who wants to risk having to cut off the damaged hair and wait the forever for it to grow out? Responsible Adulting at it’s best.
I say all of this kind of in jest but mostly in truth. Being an adult can honestly SUCK sometimes. But then I realize, there are joys that I experience now, that I never would have known in my younger fake adulting years.
There is a joy that is fundamentally rooted in emotional maturity and experience. It is the pleasure of foresight now, to choose my battles instead of diving head and heart first into every emotional wave and rallying every issue into a cause. Experience has honed my intuition and separated my gut instincts from the fog of wishful thinking. Time has brought me numerous opportunities of loss and regret which have allowed me the truest practice of humility and gratitude. Growing into an adult meant growing out of my ego centric self. When my eyes started to open and my world started to get bigger, I started to realize how small I actually am. Adulthood gave me the freedom to finally stop caring so deeply about what everyone else thinks of me, and gave me the courage to stop hiding my insecurities….It is only in this place of vulnerability and total acceptance of my humanness that I can experience deep faith, real faith.
Also, growing through 38 years of life has blessed with me some amazingly long standing friendship and family relationships. And of course, the greatest gift of my adultness was the readiness for REAL LOVE, my forever love … This love is so different (thank God) than how my fake adult loves had been……I suppose it’s definitely love I needed to grow into, something I never would have been mature enough to manage back then…whew, thank God my fake adulting eventually evolved into me becoming a real adult….it’s not always easy…but I suppose nothing with such meaningful payoffs ever is… <3