Funny story…I don’t feel like an adult half the time. I mean – I have a day job, I pay bills, I have a kid! But most days I still feel about 25 years old (which, okay, some of you might say, 25 – that’s still an adult) but when I was 25 I was moving to New York City, auditioning for Broadway and Off-Broadway (and let’s be honest Off-Off-Broadway) shows, taking acting and singing and dancing lessons – I wasn’t really doing the adult thing.
Here comes some huge truth bombs…I’m 41 years old (turning 42 this year), but I still feel like that 25-year-old. I still have a hard time contemplating that the 1990s were 30 years ago and that I moved to NYC 17 years ago. My Mom and I were talking when I was home for my son’s Spring Break and she mentioned that she always felt 40, even as a kid (she’s in her 80s now) and I thought that was interesting. Do we ever feel the age we are?
I don’t think I always felt 25…and sometimes I don’t act 25 (I can be a moody teenager some days, or a tantrum-y tree year old) – but I think I felt more ME then. Or maybe that’s when I felt most like ME – I knew who I was. I think I got stuck there, mentally. My Mom worked with her parents and siblings picking cotton from the time she was old enough to hold the large cotton bag (true story) so she always felt responsible and grown-up. She didn’t get to be a kid like I did. She always felt like an adult, whereas I never really did. Like I said, I paid bills and was fairly responsible with my actions, but mentally – I’m this care-free teenager. Which is probably why I love to read and write Young Adult books and watch TV shows like Riverdale (I mean it’s Dawson’s Creek meets Twin Peaks…what’s not to love?)
I sometimes resent having responsibilities and chores and laundry and dishes (we don’t have a dishwasher) because in my mind 25 year me didn’t have those – but I did, I had laundry and dishes and a day job and all that other stuff….so I don’t know why my mind makes me think that time was so much better. It was fun, but having a family and a cute little kid is fun in a different way. And I have a much better handle on what I want to do with the rest of my life and that’s exciting. So, why can’t I remember I’m 40? Why do I have to stop and think about how old I am when someone asks – I’m taking doctors, not randos on the street (that would be weird).
I think the other thing that makes it hard to feel 40, I find typical “adult” things hard – like doing my hair, meal planning, and making friends. See my mantra has always been: Just because you’re an adult, doesn’t men you don’t have to grow up…but the thing is, doing some “adult” things would make life easier – like having a cleaning routine or being able to do my hair in other ways (seriously – I wash it, dry it, and move on) So that’s why I decided to write a whole series of articles this month around the theme of “I don’t know how to Adult” – stay tuned.
So, what do you think? Do you feel your age? Or do you feel older or young and why? I’m curious. Thank you and if you have any issues you can’t figure out that you assume all other adults have figured out, let me know in the comments and I’ll put them on the list. Because Adulting is Hard!