the benevolent fire of adulthood
I don’t feel like a grownup. Or, as real grownups say, “an adult.”
If I say to myself “I am an adult” it feels as real as saying “I am a ripe banana.” (Of the two, I actually feel a little more like a banana.)
Well, so what? you might say. Being a grownup is overrated! We’re all barely hashtag adulting! You write for children! Isn’t it better for you to remain childish?
Well, no. I write for children, but I can be an adult while I do it.
The problem is that I was led to believe that adults were boring. That if you were an adult, that meant you gave up some crucial part of yourself. And that you aren’t fun anymore.
So I was me! I was fun! And not an adult, no way. Except, of course I am. I’m clearly an adult. It’s not like I’m even on the cusp of adulthood. I am decades deep into the age-span that everyone considers an adult.
And I realized that not only am I quite obviously actually an adult, I want to be an adult. I don’t want to be a child. We recently watched Step Brothers for the first time (decades behind in our movie watching, as always) and it hit me that while I did not feel like an adult, I also don’t want to be a big immature grown baby, needy and whiny. I want to be a responsible, independent, take-charge adult. And of course I can do that and be fun. Of course I can do that and still be me. Who told me I couldn’t be? THE PATRIARCHY? Maybe.
All I know is I’m done making myself small to prop up other people. I’m done pretending I’m not responsible, pretending that I can’t do things, pretending a sort of wacky helplessness. Forget that. No thank you.
I’m embracing my adulthood.