Being a grown up is hard, y’all.
Just before we were about to graduate college, a friend and I had a really silly conversation. “Can you imagine how much free time we’ll have without homework?? So much time – how have grown ups not cured cancer yet?”
We were being facetious, of course, but not nearly as facetious as we should have been. I think, in part, we honestly believed that. Growing up, you have two jobs. You’re in school all day, and then you come home and you do homework. You have sports practices and dance classes and after school clubs. And it’s all in the name of…something. Your education. Learning teamwork and cooperation and fitness. College applications. Because your parents said so.
When we were still in college, still bathed in the warm embrace of our parents’ bank accounts, all we could see were endless days of choices ahead – time to watch TV, time to cook and read and write, time to go out for drinks with friends. Time, time, time, time. So much of it when all you lose is 8 hours at work.
Of course, we didn’t really take into account all of the things our parents did so that we could go to practice and school and do our homework, things like laundry and cleaning and answering the phone. Grocery shopping – did you know that you have to feed yourself approximately three times a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year?? That’s over a thousand meals a year. I like to cook a lot, and even I think that’s insane. No wonder we spend all our money on lunch out. And when we eat lunch out we just go to Pret over and over and over again. Decisions are hard.
I got off work early today. During the summer, our office lets us work from nine to six Monday through Thursday so that we can get out at noon on Friday. A couple of times I’ve gone to cute restaurants for delicious wine tastings and charcuterie, or read in a park. But a lot of the time, today for example, I just went home. I’m sore from a FitBallet class, and I’m tired, and I hadn’t written this post yet, so I’m laying in bed watching Anthony Bourdain, typing, and wishing my roommate would leave so I can turn down the air conditioner. It feels a lot more mundane than I really ever expected to be.
Being a grown up is hard, I think, because you have to fight a lot harder than you expected to and a lot longer than you expected to for the spectactular moments, the marvelous ones that make you sit up and take notice. Every Friday can’t be one of the marvelous ones. Sometimes you lay in bed, work on your budget, pay your credit card bill, and save your energy for the next one. Sometimes you still have to figure out what to eat for dinner.
This has been a whole lot of whining to get to the heart of the issue, which is that I haven’t had a lot to write about lately. I had a lot more to say when I was a grad school wino and a drain on my nation’s resources. I haven’t figured out how to be a person and a contributing member of society. I have to get back in the habit of asking questions, and letting things bother me.
Also I gotta say this: thanks mom and dad, for doing all the grown up stuff for yourselves and for me for a solid 26 years before abandoning me to the down under. I miss you!
I’ll be better next week, guys. I swear.