Where’s the Adult Supervision? Oh, It’s Me!

I had a friend in uni who often declared, “At thirty, you’re an adult; your twenties are for experimenting you’ll know who you are at thirty. ” I wasn’t sure if I believed her but I suppose a part of me did. I’m now officially in my thirties and though I’m more mature, organized and kinder than I have ever been I still don’t feel like an adult.

As a child I couldn’t wait to be an adult. To call my own shots, know what I want and to be able to do it that was the lure of adulthood. As an adult I’m realizing that only children think this is what adulthood looks like. It’s not that  adults don’t get to call our own shots but we’re very aware of the consequences. Sure I can stay up as late as I want! However, if I’ve got to work the next day I’ll be the one seeking caffeine and sugar shots at every opportunity. I appreciate bedtime.

Growing up I often heard, “She’s a grown woman! I can’t believe she’s acting/dressing/speaking that way.” So I internalized that there was a time limit associated with experimenting with life.

I didn’t let millennial get me down and I’m definitely not going to let other people’s interpretation of adult define me. Here’s the sort of person I want to be:

  • Experimental!
    • I’ve been afraid of being judged so I don’t experiment too much or wear anything that I think is going to draw attention. Why not? If it makes me happy to see myself in an outfit why should I burden myself with fear.

Stop wearing

  • Open Minded
    • I attended a meeting where 17-19 year olds shared how they use social media. The girls kept saying, “I know it’s so shallow but…” When I caught myself agreeing I gave myself a shake. They were taking on my judgement before I could give it. They were seeing themselves through the ‘adult’ eyes and feeling like shallow and silly girls. Once I caught the thought process I was able to change it. In the end I didn’t attend a panel with shallow teenagers, I attended a panel with teenagers who are hyper aware of the fact that what they share on social media is there forever.

open mind

  • Imaginative
    • As a child I would put on shows before royalty,  teach classes on pudding making, and travel through dangerous jungles with a wild dog. Was any of it real? Not strictly speaking, I was always aware of the difference between real and play but it never stopped me from enjoying my fantasy life. It was never a goal to live like Tarzan but it was fun to pretend until the ‘wild’ dog got fed up and went for a nap.  Recently my dreams have been deeply rooted in reality: I shy away from dreaming of going on a cruise along the Nile or jumping out of a plane because I’ve mistaken dreams for goals. Why contemplate something I would never do? Because it’s fun!

alice

What sort of person do you aim to be?

 

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10 thoughts on “Where’s the Adult Supervision? Oh, It’s Me!

  1. tenleygwen

    I love this! It’s so true, particularly as women we (are supposed to/trained to) judge ourselves so harshly and according to such a strict set of behavioral rules, particularly as we get older. It’s ridiculous. I find that in my twenties I was so intent on being perceived as an “adult” I didn’t let myself relax and experiment; in my thirties I was intent on being “appropriate” as a parent; and now finally in my forties I’m learning to take risks and really trust my inner voice more, and let that voice determine what I present to the world. It’s terrific you’re pushing back against those judging voices that tell you what it means to be an adult. I think being an adult means creating your own definitions. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooo this line was thought provoking for me: “I shy away from dreaming of going on a cruise along the Nile or jumping out of a plane because I’ve mistaken dreams for goals.”
    I will have to give that some thought myself. I think I have done the same thing. Instead of feeling excited with imagination, I feel weighed down by the burden of having to achieve them.

    What sort of person do I aim to be? Hm… I’m in a bit of limbo at the moment, because last year I was doing all those “milestones of success” and yet I was so unhappy. Now I’m taking time off and I’m in that floaty space trying to “find myself”. One thing I am hyper aware of is my language showing me how I feel: tasks/expectations where I say “I should/I have to” are the things that weigh me down. The things that I say “I want/I dream of” are the things I’m afraid to try or start for fear of failure or what people will think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad that resonated with you! I was trying to find the best way to capture that feeling.
      Language is so important! When my anxiety flares one of the tools my therapist mentioned was to ‘re-wire’ my brain by paying attention to how I reacted to my own phrasing and then adjusting it until I felt powerful.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Revisiting My Lists – Saving Without Scrimping

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