Just last week I woke up and discovered quite to my dismay that I’m an adult. Another discovery came swiftly on the tail of the first: I’m bad at adulting.
I barely even noticed the difference when it happened. One day I was in university trying to overcome my natural tendency toward procrastination, and the next day I was gathering documentation for a visa to work on the other side of the world. One day I was buying cigarettes and french fries, and the next day I was selecting which goat cheese I like better and paying my credit card bill. One day I was unskilled and had one waitressing job on my resume, the next day I’d a three page resume and countless useful skills.
You can see why it was such a shock to me, since this all happened over one. night.
Okay maybe it was two or three years, but it’s kind of like this. You know when you haven’t seen your short pimply chubby friend in two years and then you get to see them again and they’ve grown five inches and have pectorals and biceps and sexy hair and finally figured out how talk to girls? It’s the opposite of that. Sort of.
What I mean is when you see Step A and Step X and nothing in between, the difference is shocking. But when you’re right there to see each thing gradually fade From A to B to C and so on to X, it doesn’t make a huge impression on you.
Does that make sense?
What I’m saying is I’m too close to the situation, since the situation is me. My growth and learning and all that good stuff has happened one tiny little piece at a time. They’re such small pieces that it’s easily dismissed as insignificant. But when you look at the whole, it’s just something else entirely. Tessa from two years ago didn’t have half the skills as Tessa from today. She also wouldn’t have gone out on so many limbs, taken so many chances, or pursued her interests so far. She wouldn’t have been accepted to Peace Corps or gotten a job and a half in China or know anything about management or education.
She wouldn’t know how to put her foot down when people try to take advantage of her sweet generous glowing personality. (Shut up, I’m biased.) She wouldn’t be concerned with practical things at the end of the day – she’d still be daydreaming without really putting her heart into anything.
But like I said – I’m bad at adulting. I want to stay up far too late reading stupid sci-fi novels. I want to binge watch netflix while eating food that’s bad for me. I want to party and drink too much because I can and take 30 smoke breaks a day. I definitely don’t want to go to the gym or get my act together. I don’t want responsibility, even if it’s just for myself. I want to be carefree and I don’t want to worry about student loan debt. I want to stare at stars during all night conversations with boys I don’t even have a thing for. I want to make the stupid little decisions that are fun and meaningless.
Or do I?
Sometimes I think I do, and this is why for now I’m bad at adulting. I sometimes slip back into childhood, but not in the good way. (Blanket forts, beer, and late nights will never leave my lifestyle. I’m okay with that.) But I shouldn’t be slipping into irresponsibility. If I practice what I preach I’ve got to acknowledge that we’re increasingly becoming a society that doesn’t take responsibility for its actions, and I won’t be a part of that. Not if I can help it.
So I’m trying to be a good adult. And yes that will sometimes mean making dumb mistakes and doing things just because. But I hope that eventually I’ll be good at adulting, and that will include being carefree, but because my duties are accomplished. And it’ll include having fun, because I’ll be able to afford it. And it’ll include adventures with good friends, because I’ll know how to pick ’em. And it’ll include late night conversations with boys, but it’ll be the ones I really care about. And it’ll include beer, because good adults deserve good beer. Lots and lots of good beer.
Here’s to adulting. One day at a time.
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