Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Grown ups

When you realize pivotal things about life, it doesn't usually happen all of a sudden. The ironic thing is, these realizations happen in bits and pieces over the course of years, but when you finally open your eyes it feels like the very first time you've ever seen anything in its true form. I'm talking about adulthood. When you were a kid, grown ups knew everything. You didn't even question it. They were the cure for your bumps and bruises, the answerer of all of your questions, the guides and all knowing beings in our lives. When you get a little older you start to see minor flaws. You see that grown ups fight, they sometimes don't know why things happen the way they did, they make rules and laws but also break them. Then one day you open your eyes and you are one of them. An "adult". It might happen when you're in your 20's or your 30's, maybe even later for some, but it happens. And then comes the scary part. You are finally a grown up. And you are as clueless and helpless as you were when you were a kid.

Recently, I lost my job at a place I've been going to every day for 10 years. I lost faith and love in the people who I trusted there and considered my friends. I found closed doors were I used to find welcoming arms. I was thrust out into the snow. That was a week from today, and today I found dissolution where I thought I saw certainty. Without saying too much, Love is the kind of thing that kids dream about. It turns out, its the kind of thing adults dream about too. Dreams and reality are different, which is really what growing up is all about. Learning that the perfect life is a fairy tale, and there is no such thing as getting everything you want. Being an adult is about looking into the face of the truth when its dim and frozen, and being ok with settling for less.

My life as an adult can be summed up. I pay bills. Sometimes on time, sometimes late. I trip and fall, drop things, forget where I'm going and when I have to be there. I'm broke. I know what it feels like to be unemployed. I know what it feels like to be underemployed. I know what it feels like to be unappreciated. I know what it feels like to be uncertain. I know what it feels like to hate myself, and what it feels like to hate other people. I know what it feels like to be scared of trying, petrified of failing, paranoid and worried about looking foolish. I know how unfair it seems when you cant take something back, cant change things, cant make time go backwards and fix mistakes. I know what a broken heart feels like.

It hurts worse then realizing that growing up means nothing other then getting older. Numbers. Experiences. Memories. I know what I did today. What I did last week. Last year. I can smell it on my hands, see it on my face, read it in my words. I'm no more a grown up now then I was when I was 8. The only difference is when I was 8 I could look up into the faces of my parents and my teachers and family and think that everything was going to be ok because they knew everything and one day I would too. Again, the irony lies in the fact that they were looking down at me and thinking about their troubles relationships and overdue bills and miles and miles or broken hearts and lost loves and issues about commitment and self worth and distrust... in reality I was the one who was better off. And at 8 years old, I wasn't even allowed to cross the street by myself.

No comments: