Thursday, December 22, 2011
Thoughts on Being a “Grown Up.”
When I was very young, I thought grown-ups had it all together, just by virtue of being aged [keep in mind that “aged” to me could have been as young as 9]. This belief followed me until fairly recently, I’m afraid.
The word “old” to me, always meant experienced, mature. All the cool people I knew were older than me. I saw it as a good thing. I aspired to be old. I couldn’t wait until I was a grown up. No one told a grown up to clean their rooms or go to sit still in school for boring classes. They had complete freedom. They could go places. They could go to work. They could pay for things with credit cards.
Now that I am technically a grown up, it is very cool, no doubt. But, at the same time, it can be kind of terrifying. I don’t feel grown up. Sure, no one tells me to clean my room, but I’d better get that rent check in on time. EVERY month, no less. I didn’t take into account the responsibilities that came with the freedoms I envied. Sure I no longer have to sit in math class for an hour. Now I am responsible for bills with very real consequences should I miss them. I no longer have to go to school, but I have jobs, which actually are WAY cooler than my school ever was.
But there was something about the security of growing up. Sure, I longed to be an “adult,” like the cool people on TV or just people I admired in life, but I always felt secure. Perhaps I was naïve, but I never worried about bills or jobs, except for when I was playing “house,” or Barbies. Now that I’m older, they’re not as fun as I remember.
My dreamy boyfriend says that people do not actually grow up. They stay the same person they were when they were young. I do agree with that, to an extent. Sure, I may know a little more than I did when I was young, I’ve got a few more experiences under my belt. [Though, every once in a while I get an urge to go back in time to beat some sense into the high school me]. I hope I’m a little more sophisticated than I was when I was younger, but I still feel very much the same person as when I was a kid. I see grown up versions of the kids I used to babysit; they’re the same too.
The best example of this is the Monica character on Friends, when she and Ross were competing to be on the Dick Clark New Year’s Rockin’ Eve show. At long last Ross and Monica were able to fulfill a lifelong dream of being dancers on the show. They had practiced for years a routine for just the occasion, accompanied with the same childhood excitement.
I love watching her slip into her childhood effervescence, from her otherwise sophisticated character. At one point, Chandler says to her, “Ohh, you’re still just a little fat girl inside, aren’t you?”
The reason I find this so funny is that I know I slip into my childhood persona just like Monica. I wonder if others do too…
Posted by Brooke at 5:25 PM