7 Quick Takes #64 x FTSF

— 1 —
Finish the Sentence Friday

The most unexpected part of being a grown-up is…how very young I still feel.

Not youthful – that’s something different and rather wonderful, which I do still enjoy feeling on a regular basis.

But young. Clueless. Inept. Out of my depth. 

Still unprepared (pitifully, since I’ve had 12 years of this ‘being a grown-up’ stuff) for the twists and turns life has seen fit to throw at me, and often incapable of managing it, even with support. And with a deep and abiding knowledge that if I were on my own with it, I’d be sunk.

I still have so many milestones, typically attributed to ‘being a grown-up’, which remain as yet unachieved. I know some of them are a bit arbitrary (a degree isn’t necessarily a mark of being a grown-up, nor is having children, and yet…), and I’ve done the ‘marriage thing’, so there’s that. We’re renting our own place, so there’s that too, but it often feels like playing house; playing marriage – pretending that I know what I’m doing when really it’s all being made up as I go along.

And I wonder if it’s the same for everyone. I suspect it is at times, though many of the people I’d call ‘grown-ups’ (and why do they all seem taller than me, even when they’re not really?) appear to have their shit together and feel quite comfortable and confident about the physical, emotional, mental and societal space they occupy.

I, on the other hand, often wander around in a state of astonishment that I’ve even got this far. I’ll do something quite unextraordinary, like buy kitchen roll or cleaning supplies, and suddenly be obliterated by a rampaging, runaway train of thought which thunders through my brain thus:

Must get kitchen roll. For my kitchen. MY kitchen? How did I end up with a kitchen? Grown-ups have kitchens. They let me have a kitchen? How in the world did that EVEN HAPPEN??? I’m not a grown-up. I shouldn’t have a kitchen! Someone’s gonna cop on at some point and I’ll be found out for having a kitchen I really don’t deserve just yet…

I’ve been used to having friends of all ages, for many years now, and I’m still the ‘youngest’ amongst them. But I see people younger than me somehow doing these same things as the grown-ups; marriage, babies, careers, and it just feels as though even they know some cosmic secret which I’ve somehow missed.

Unless the secret is that we’re all faking it.

The other thing with having numbers of older friends (and particularly when they can all bond over the things I can’t (especially the having and raising of children)) is that it can feel pretty lonely. I end up being the little kid who wandered in with the adults and sits there, silent and wishing she could join in with something pertinent to say – to be a part of their world – to be able to contribute to it. And I can’t. I’m marginalised and firmly relegated to the ‘youngsters’ end of the room, whether that’s their intent or not, these friends of mine have unlocked and explored things I don’t even hold the keys to, and sometimes I wonder, as I listen, whether I’ll ever ‘come of age’ and be accepted as one of them.

But there are good things too, to my discovery of being ‘KidZoned’.

I get to play the brat, which I missed out on when I was *actually* young, because I was the older sister – the ‘responsible’ one (though thinking about it, was I ever viewed that way? I doubt it. The rabble-rouser; the trouble-maker; the shit-stirrer. I was that one…and I still am, but amongst older friends it comes across as cute, rather than irritating (okay, it might also come across as irritating (sometimes))).

I also get looked after. A lot. I have been taken ‘under the wing’ of several wonderful people, both here in the ‘real world’ and in the Blogosphere, and I benefit hugely from the advice, support, friendship and input, and it’s HUGE. It has made, makes and will continue to make such a difference to my levels of understanding, self-awareness and ‘ept’ness to get a handle on this ‘grown-up’ thing.

So to all my ‘grown-ups’, in whatever world you’re in, please keep doing whatever it is which lets me learn from you, because I have ten years until I enter my ‘perfect age’ zone. And I really want to have this ‘adult’ thing figured out by then.

— 2 —

That said, I did manage to have a completely, mind-blowingly awesome achievement this week (and by ‘awesome’ I mean ‘awesome for me‘). After my teeny tiny tantrum last week, in which I tried and failed to run that pesky ten miles I’ve been striving for since November (and then had a total meltdown and existential crisis and somehow lost all confidence in everything (which, by the way, has somehow become my most ever Tweet-shared post. Ever. And I’ve no idea how!)) I planned. And I went out again.

And I GOT IT!!!

Not only did I get it, but I exceeded it by 1.3 miles. So to y’all who work in kilometres, that’s 18 of them.

BOOM!

— 3 —

The Well Tempered Guest BardsHUGE AMAZING ANNOUNCEMENT: NEW THING!
Some of you may know that I also blog over at The Well Tempered Bards, a shared poetry blog (because poetry, yo!), and this VERY DAY, we have embarked upon a new and quite wonderful endeavour; featuring some of our very favourite poets as Guest Bards. 

And I’m more than over the freakin MOON to share with you that our First Ever Guest Bard is none other than the absolutely sublime Beth Teliho.

Please, stop what you’re doing, drop everything and COME ON OVER to read her gorgeous piece, ‘Dragonfly’.

And if you visit, leave her some comment box sugar, because I really, really love her poems, and I want her to pen more words for Bards in future, but like all writers, she’s flighty, and if she doesn’t get feedback she’ll disappear into the aether faster than you can say “Damn poets!” 

— 4 —

Talking of words, one of the things I enjoy most about making friends with people here in the world of writers, is learning and sharing new words; new phrases; new expressions. And in creating neologisms myself, or imbuing my conversations with my verbal characteristics, I share of myself, even as others share of themselves, and the immense amount of delight and *twinklysparklygoodness* I feel when I see that someone, somewhere, has begun to mirror any of these words, is nearly beyond description.

My heart fills right up to the brim, so it does.

OY!

— 5 —

Actual Seriously Serious stuff now. Like maybe life-or-death serious

I was sent the following email from a good and trusted friend in the US, though I do not know the woman making the appeal. It’s aimed at readers in the US (though if you’re in the UK, or wherever, you should consider signing up to be a bone-marrow donor because it’s a Good Thing) and if the right person engages, finds out about this, or is wonderful enough to sign up anyway, LIVES CAN BE SAVED. By YOU. Just think about it. Please.

Last week, my stepson Steven was diagnosed with AML (acute myeloid leukemia).  His chance for survival is finding a bone marrow match.  My family has joined Be The Match (a transplant organization) to help Steven and other patients in need of marrow or cord blood transplants.  We are looking for help to get the word out so his chance of finding a match are increased.  Thank you for the strength of your prayers through this. 
Love, Melissa
If you are open to supporting him, there are two different ways:

1.  In Ithaca: by registering at a donor drive-
  • March 11 at Cornell, Willard Straight Hall Rm 4, 11-2pm.
  • April 2 at Ithaca College, Phillips Hall 10-3pm.  
2. Contributing to add potential marrow donors-
  • Mail to ‘Be The Match Foundation’  510 Willowgate Drive Webster, NY 14580
Please forward this URL to friends & family: http://www.bethematchfoundation.org/goto/kolberg
TRANSPLANT DESCRIPTION (technology has come a long way!)  Donors sought are 18-44yrs, since Steven is Korean we are hoping for help to reach Asian populations.
Peripheral blood cell (PBSC) donation for a transplant merely involves removing a donor’s blood through a needle in one arm. The blood is passed through a machine that separates out the cells used in transplants. The remaining blood is returned through the other arm. More than 80% of donors give through this method. 
Bone marrow donation is a surgical procedure in which liquid marrow is withdrawn from the back of the donor’s pelvic bone using a needle.  Anesthesia is always used for this procedure, so donors feel no pain during marrow donation. Most donors feel some pain in their lower back for a few days afterwards.  Today, less than 20% is taken this way.
— 6 —

Six Sentence Stories
Hands trembling, she picked the envelope up from the doormat, noticing its official markings and wondering what lay within.

Shaking, listening to him play quietly in the other room, she opened their destiny and peeked in.

‘Test positive.’

Silent tears flooding her crumpled cheeks, she fell to her knees as the world crumbled around her – it wasn’t fair.

Struggling for composure, she heard him get up and come towards the door – that bright and shining centre of her suddenly-unravelled life – and watched his sweet face poke questioningly out into the hallway.

“Mama?”

— 7 —
I need cheering up after that. Cancer sucks, yet I guarantee you that even in the midst of such an awful disease, those survivors, those fighters can find things to be thankful for. 

Absolutely PROMISE.

And the reason I know? Because they DO – several warriors join the Ten Things of Thankful each week, and they share their ups and downs and their THANKFULS, which they invariably find, and we all benefit from the immense courage and positive attitude they show.

Join in and support them this weekend.

Ten Things of Thankful

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!
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66 thoughts on “7 Quick Takes #64 x FTSF

  1. Maturity is overrated.
    If you wanna know about immaturity, I'll tell you about my wedding anniversary this weekend, where me, hubby and bestie got so drunk I managed to fall flat on my backside in front of some real grownups, my bestie stormed off in a strop and then had to come back because she didn't know why she was mad and hubby ended up with a big red bruise *right on the end of his nose* cos he challenged bestie to pull it as hard as she could. Cos we rock grownupness!

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  2. *grins* Oh bless your boots! That's the funniest 'I'm not really a grown-up' story I think I've heard yet!!! 😀

    I was gonna say that if you want to practice being 'more mature than' someone, you're welcome to try your 'I'm grown-upper than you' edge on me…until I remembered that we go for space-whale rides on Orca.

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  3. Oh I totally feel like a teenager, out of control and trying to pretend to be a grown up. All of my pals are older and seem to be doing adult life things, I still feel like I'm playing at having a real job. I spent a year more than I wanted going to a salon because the lady person was a scary old woman who kept making me appointments and telling me off if I missed them, like a teacher, and I was too wimpy to say 'look here woman, I'm a grown up and I don't want to be here'. In the end I copped a strop and shouted down the phone that I wasn't coming to any more appointments and totally lied about why! That was last week.

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  4. And yet, in a professional capacity, except as a brand new trainee each time, I've never felt irresponsible or less than capable or anything other than in charge and qualified for the job. In life, not so much.

    Funny how that works!

    Glad it was one which got you thinking, and thanks for letting me know that it did 🙂 I do like to live up to my name sometimes.

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  5. The sense of being a fake, on the point of being 'found out,' is a common one, I think. A general sense of lacking authenticity is, of course, more disabling than a feeling of fakeness restricted to a specific aspect of life. When I worked in mental health, I (and many of my colleagues) often had the sense of not really being qualified – 'winging it' – and on the verge of having our cover blown, our incompetence revealed to an unsuspecting world.

    An interesting post – as always; one to get us all thinking and reflecting on our own experiences.

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  6. I think in some ways I'll always feel inept, but I guess the comfort is in not knowing we're all the only ones who feel inept – it appears to be more prevalent than we believe at first blush.

    Your neighbour sounds like a thoroughly good man 🙂 GOOD FOR HIM 😀

    Is your other neighbour okay? Glad she had you to look after her. You're a Good person, Stephanie, and in this instance, I much prefer you Tardy than wrongly prioritising the Blogosphere.

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  7. Well, I can totally relate to your “playing house” and “just pretending” thing. My worry is that I will always feel that way- clueless, like a child, inept. Gah. Also, my amazing next door neighbor, a widowed single dad, donated his bone marrow to a complete stranger. The kindness and goodness of people sometimes takes my breath away. -Sincerely, your tardy hostess. 😉

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  8. Lizzi, Even at 55 I'm still astonished almost every day. Luckily, grown up means different things for all of us. I still giggle like a little girl and love to draw and color. So, I'm defining my grow-up-ed-ness with lots of childlike wonder and joy while still paying all the bills.

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  9. Ahhh I know of Penn Gillette 🙂 And GOOD FOR HIM. And for you.

    And Whuuuuuuuuuuuuut? 18 hours? EVER? At once? That's less than a day. How would you even…why would you even…

    *cries* I don't understand! I wear the same one each day til it's laundry day and then change it for another one and repeat the…is that not what we're *meant* to do?

    Why isn't there a 'Being A Grown-Up For Dummies' book? I seriously need one!

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  10. Not sure we're gonna make it at all to that Point, after new things today which seem to push it further and further from us. And no, I don't think anyone intends to exclude me either, same way as a bunch of swans don't intend to exclude a duck – they're just different creatures with a few commonalities.

    *sigh*

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  11. Well I'm glad to know that the feeling of amazement doesn't always leave, and that not even the Proper Grown-Ups always feel as though they're Proper 😀 Thanks Melissa

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