Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I Don't Wanna Grow Up, I'm a Toys-R-Us Kid

Growing up is the pits. I really hate it. I miss waking up on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons, not to get a windshield replaced. I used to come home at 4 and play outside. Now I come home at 7, and it's too dark and I'm too tired to play. Back then, I could wear whatever I wanted every day, not drab professional garb to make all the sheep look alike.

I miss My Little Pony, makebelieve, graham crackers with peanut butter, dance class, running in the warm sunshine, no responsibilities, no consequences, all fun and all play all the time. I'm tired of meetings, bills, debt, too broke to do what I want, rules, questions with too many answers, questions with no answers that keep me up at night, watching my fat intake, crackety old bones and wrinkles under my eyes.

I could whine all day. But there are good things about being a grownup too. It has its advantages. I have to remind myself, but some things are good.

No curfew! That was my most favorite college freedom. Coffee is good for me now. (Kind-of.) No one makes me eat vegetables covered in processed cheese. Alcohol...oh joy, oh bliss. Sleepovers with boys! Not that I've had one of those in quite some time, but I've had enough whose memories keep me warm at night. Oh, and I don't have to keep my room clean all the time. Work still gives me my paycheck no matter how many shirts are strewn across my bedroom floor.

But I keep waiting for it to get easy again. Even at 27 (almost 28 - eek!), I'm still waiting for someone to take care of me like when I was young. I need to be nurtured, I like it, it feels good, it helps. But I'm a grownup and have to take care of myself. There's no way Mommy can do it all for me now and no promise of a future with anyone else pitching in. No assurances that I won't always be on my own, providing for myself.

Sometimes, I feel like I'm just not a good adult. Or I'm not adult enough. I told one of my friends that once, and she laughed and said, "It has nothing to do with being an adult. You work for a non-profit, and you live in DC. You're not immature - you're poor." That's what friends are for.

But there are so many things I should be better at. I wonder if those improvements that I need are holding me back? But growing up is a continual process so, chances are, I'll always be struggling with these things and others.

But I'm not really struggling alone. Mom isn't nearby, and Mr. Right isn't either, but my friends and I are doing alright taking good care of one another. One thing is true - friendships get better and richer as we get older. And tequila shots can do the rest.


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