Thursday, January 20, 2011

When I Grow Up...

"So childhood too feels good at first, before one happens to notice the terrible sameness, age after age."

-Grendel, John Gardner


Danielle over at Sometimes Sweet got me to thinking about my childhood expectations for my adult-self. In some ways, I still don't think of myself as an "adult," although at the ripe old age of 25 I can no longer deny that here we are, this is it, I am officially in charge of my own destiny. No one to blame it on when things get bad or disappointing. No feeling of entitlement to having my own way. Time to suck it up and figure things out.

When I was a teenager, I assumed that I would end up as a "professional woman." Someone who has her shit together. Someone powerful and confident who wears little power suits and has a personal trainer. My favorite cocktail would be a martini. I would graduate from college at 22, be generally awesome until 25, at which age I would meet the 6'2", brown haired, suite-n-tie wearing, Hunky McHunkerton man of my dreams. Marriage would follow at 27, setting me up for the big decision to pursue Career or Family in my early 30's. I would have it all figured out and be fully aware of this fact. I would feel like An Adult.

I had it all planned out. It was going to happen. It was destiny.

What I failed to take into account was my own personality and inclinations.

I am ill-suited for Business, capital B. I never, ever have my shit together. I am not confident in anything that I do or say. I hate pencil skirts and am not particularly attracted to the "hunky" type of male. Martinis disgust me.

I did everything wrong.

Getting down to the most basic flaw in my own teenaged dream for my perfect future self, I never once considered that in order to feel like adults, we must treat ourselves as such. I pretty much just let myself mentally stay in childhood, and now I wonder why some things suck so much. I never planned for adulthood. It was supposed to just happen one day, like getting my period or developing a taste for wine.

This is not to say that I am in any way unhappy with my life. Just a little disorientated. Somewhat lost without a map. However, I think that I have recently made my most adult decision so far: to stop trying to fit in to my childhood fantasy image of what an grown-up should be, and to try to decipher the inner-workings of my own messed-up brain to determine what it is that I would like to do and that would make me happy. Whether or not it is practical, fashionable, or exists only between the hours of 9 and 5.

So, that is what 2011 is dedicated to. Wish me luck. :)


  1. Look at adorable baby you!
    And all hail internet stalking because otherwise i wouldn't have found your amazing blog :)

    Life is messy and makes you feel disillusioned sometimes, but it's a fun ride, right?


  2. While I sympathize, I'm going to ignore what you're getting at in this piece. I'm going to comment on the fact that this is a lovely, well-written post.

    I read it a second time, and pretended it wasn't you. I pretended like it was someone else, another person our age, and it was beautiful and truthful.