I’ll Be All Growned Up Someday

I don’t feel like a man.

I just turned 23 a week ago…it should have taken by now. I’ve had plenty of legal signifiers: I could vote, buy tobacco, and go to real-person jail at 18. I could buy alcohol at 21. There aren’t really any landmarks left. Except at 25, and I don’t think being able to rent a car without a surcharge is going to do much to improve my feelings of manliness.

I passed 21 years ago, I’m graduated from college, I’m living away from my parents, I’m paying all my bills, and I still feel like a kid.

That’s not to say I haven’t matured. I’ve matured a lot, I know that…but it doesn’t feel like I’ve reached adulthood.

And perhaps in some ways, I haven’t.

Physically, I still feel like a child. I’m more fit than I’ve ever been, but I’m not as trim or muscular as I’d like to be. At six feet even (maybe six-one), I know I’m a fairly tall fellow, but I don’t feel tall. I feel like everyone else is just short. In my mind’s eye, I’m still shorter than many people I tower over.

I cook like a child. My pantries are full of Pasta-Roni, macaroni and cheese, and instant soups. My fridge is full of microwavable dinners and lunch meat. It’s a rare day that I make a meal that takes more than 15 minutes of prep time.

I live like a child. I sleep when I want to, I stay up late playing video games and reading comic books (“Mo-omm, they’re called graphic novels.“).

My glasses make me feel like a child. I feel more adult when I take my glasses off, for some reason. I’ve considered getting contacts, but couldn’t convince my eyeballs that it was a good idea.

I have a child’s job. Half of my coworkers are high-schoolers, and even some of my supervisors are younger than I am. My work clothes are khakis and a T-shirt. My job is meant to be filled by people who only take orders, and my moments of initiative are met with chidings and criticisms.

I approach relationships like a child. I feel like a shy little boy waiting on the far side of the room for the pretty girl to walk over and talk to me…and when she doesn’t, I go off on rants that are the adult equivalent of “Girls are stupid and gross.”

I write like a child. I tell myself that it doesn’t necessarily matter what other people think…that my writing can have value even if I’m the only one who recognizes it. But the real reason I write is to get a response…a positive one. Without that response, I start to question its value.

For 20-odd years, I have let myself be defined and evaluated by other people: my parents, my teachers, my bosses, my friends. I’m ready to be who I want to be and be happy about that.

 

When I was a child, I thought like a child, spoke like a child, reasoned like a child. But when I became a man, I put these childish things away. – 1 Corinthians 13:11

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2 Responses to I’ll Be All Growned Up Someday

  1. First of all, Don’t put away those childish notions….embrace them. To me that’s the best thing about life. You can still be mature but act like an idiot while you dance in the rain or feel nervous or pissed off about that beautiful girl you met at the bar who wont give you the time of day. I wish I could contain a quarter of a child’s wonderment at life. You can still be your own person and in your way just don’t stress over growing up to quick. As for Landmarks…you’ve got plenty to go….you just don’t see them…let me see..marriage,buying a house together, children, possible divorce, deaths, travel to new sights new sounds new tastes, new friends, new movies, new books, concert, sporting events, epoch moments in history you will be a part of….life is great, being a child is great, not knowing what’s around the next corner is scary as hell…but it is also not mapped out for us… which is the most exciting part.

  2. “For 20-odd years, I have let myself be defined and evaluated by other people: my parents, my teachers, my bosses, my friends. I’m ready to be who I want to be and be happy about that.” Agreed.

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