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.
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.
HUGE 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!”
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.
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.
March 11 at Cornell, Willard Straight Hall Rm 4, 11-2pm.
April 2 at Ithaca College, Phillips Hall 10-3pm.
On-line: by registering with Be The Match (cheek swab test will be mailed) http://join.marrow.org/kolberg
Mail to ‘Be The Match Foundation’ 510 Willowgate Drive Webster, NY 14580
Shaking, listening to him play quietly in the other room, she opened their destiny and peeked in.
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.
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.