Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Second Adolescence/Thoughts On My Ten-Year-Reunion

When I started middle school, I was in Mrs. Clark's 6th grade class. I remember sitting there at my desk on the first day, and Mrs. Clark (one of the best teachers EVER, by the way) cracked some joke that made us all "LOL". I was shocked because we all sounded so very OLD. There was a deepness to our laugh that hadn't been there in Mrs. Franklin's class the previous year. I can only assume it must have been due to some of the boy's voices going from falsetto to tenor or something, but I definitely felt like we were growing up.

And here I am, 15-or-so years later wondering what our laughs will sound like at the ten-year reunion. And then I realize, will this ten-year-reunion thing finally make me feel like an adult? Seeing all of the people I grew up with--grown up?

Some people told me marriage would make me feel like a grown-up. Others told me it would be having children. Still others told me it would be some life change or disaster.

I'm not feeling like an adult yet. And I am wondering if it is because I am no longer around the people I was around when I was growing up. I have nothing to gauge my development against anymore. Maybe?

I don't really view myself as an adult at all. I feel as though I'm constantly hitting walls when it comes to the whole mentally aging aspect of life. Maybe it's the fact that in spite of everything we *have* been through (cancer, joblessness, homelessness, other illness, etc), I am stil mostly enjoying life. I love being married to my husband and having kids and having our own house. I have definitely done my share of hand-wringing and am definitely noticing signs of worry wrinkles appearing on my forehead. But I still feel often more giddy than dour. And I thought adulthood would be all about feeling constantly frustrated with life.

I am not trying to say I live in constant cloud-9. I am far from it, in fact. It's just that life is so full of moments of, well, playful, silly immaturity. Water fights with the kids in the back yard. Tickle fights with Greg. Playing on facebook. Staying up late and still feeling sort of like I've gotten away with something forbidden.

But then again, the last three times I've bought alcohol, I haven't gotten carded. And other people's kids actually listen to me when I tell them what to do (my own don't, but that's to be expected). And I do the dishes without people asking me to. What the heck?

About a year ago, I signed up for a subscription to Nylon magazine because I thought it would have good recommendations for new musicians I'd never heard of, and I liked the fasion a lot. After a few issues, I asked Greg what he thought of the magazine, and he said, "it seems pretty high school". And then I realized.. yeah, it does. So I cancelled the subscription. I was embarrassed because, sheesh, I am TWENTY-SEVEN after all.

And I keep finding myself shopping in the juniors section and being surprised when, oh-my-gosh, the clothes like, totally don't fit me like they used to.

I almost bought myself a Smurfette t-shirt the other day and thought, "Wait. Is this *appropriate*?"

I feel like I am going through a second adolescence--an awkward age where things aren't ever quite ever what they should be. It's all very Alice in Wonderland-ish, and disconcerting.

Maybe I'm overthinking this. Maybe I should just do whatever comes/feels natural. It's just that I'm somewhere in between two worlds. I know I'm not young anymore, but I know I'm not all that old, either. Does anyone else feel this way? Or am I just some sort of developmentally challenged permanent teenager? I want to act my age, but I am not sure what that age is.

1 comment:

Rachel Gray said...

Well, I'm 31 and I still think of myself as a kid and separate from the adults. But I'm interested to know that you feel that way even thought you're a wife and mother, because I was wondering if my feelings are due to being single.

I like that memory from 6th grade. How fast time flies. (I know that's a cliche but it's TRUE.)