I’ve strayed a bit from the original premises of this here blog, so today I am getting back on track. A couple more mumbo jumbo blurbs about pretending to be a grown up.
1. You know how in high school everyone liked to point out what a crossroads you were at in your life and how all these paths were opening up right before your eyes. Well, that’s pretty much still true for a vast majority of us. We’re educated. We’re no longer matriculated. We’re getting married. We’re having babies. We’re doing all kinds of ostensibly grown up stuff. And yet, fuck if we have a clue what we’re doing. The crossroads are still there. Should I go for a different career path? Am I good enough? What’s more important, passion or a living salary? Should I eat the questionable chicken salad from the cafeteria for lunch or splurge on take-out? Pretty much, you’re still looking around going, “What the bloody hell am I going to do with my life?!?” (Listen, everything sounds better with a few British catch phrases thrown in.) Here’s the big difference. When you’re eighteen, you’re pretty clear on what you want from your life and there’s no way you’re ever going to have to settle. Settling is for losers. Nope, you got this baby. You’re going to be a STAR. And for the next several years you still believe that. And then comes reality. And reality goes something like, “Crap, I can’t pay my rent this month and I need a new pair of tap shoes/new camera/new manuscript paper/new insert whatever tool of the trade you need that is most expensive. And reality continues to press down on you for several years. Meanwhile, you pursue your goals maybe or you get a bit more educated maybe or you get a job and try to make the best of things. But that crossroads is always there. There’s always that little voice in the back of your head (at least in the back of mine) going “Screw this 9-5 nonsense. Dolly Parton knew it was a load of bollocks and you do too. You can walk out of this soul sucking corporate crap hole right this second and go be awesome somewhere! YOU ARE BETTER THAN THIS!” And darn it, that little voice is RIGHT! But that squeaky little sucker in the back of your head doesn’t pay for electricity and that’s where you’re stuck. At eighteen you can do anything you want. A few years later, the choices get a little tougher to make.
2. My friend C addressed this and I feel it’s worth making mention of. She referenced the bitchy divas we were at 20 in comparison to the current crop of bitchy 20 year old girls and was hopeful that we were at least not as bad as they are. Sorry, dear. We were worse. We were the cockiest bunch of prima donnas that ever strutted around our tiny little town. And, truthfully, we had every reason to be. We never paid for a single drink, danced our faces off all night, and generally woke up fresh faced the next day looking like butter wouldn’t melt in our red lipstick stained mouths. We DESERVED to be cocky. We were hot stuff for a one horse town. But, we also deserved to be humbled a little, and I kind of think that that is one of the most gracious parts of growing up a little. While I miss that sparkle like whoa sometimes, what I sure don’t miss is the devil may care attitude that we portrayed to the rest of the world. Because we did care. And the mighty (that is to say us) did fall. And it hurt like hell. And it grew us up. And we needed it. Because without all that glitter and without the falling we wouldn’t have managed to become the people we are. People that love and care and put others first and think about things so much more important than how to make it to every ladies night possible during the week. And that’s the part of growing up that actually kind of rocks a little. Because maybe we stop getting taller, but it seems to me that our hearts grew exponentially after our ungracious dethroning. (And let’s be real, if we could be bothered to spend 6hrs a day getting glittered and glammed, we could still give those bitchy divas a run for their money.) Moral of the story? I dunno. I guess that maybe it’s just a process and a few years from now those girls will be us, philosophizing and wondering if they’ve done the right things and bemoaning the fact that those jeans just don’t fit the way they used to. But if they’re lucky, they’ll have managed to hold onto the people that got through it with them and when it’s important, there will still be someone around to make them feel like queens.