I am firmly convinced that even as I continue to age I do not continue to mature. I find proof of this in the fact that I still avoid cleaning my bathroom, that I often forget to brush my teeth, that I eat junk food in disproportionate amounts to fruits and vegetables, and that when I get sick I expect my mother to somehow show up in my apartment with juice and crackers, call my office to tell them I’m sick, and then put her hand on my forehead and declare that I should go back to sleep.
Today I am straddling that line between child and adult, immature and mature, by deciding this morning that I was sick, but not quite sick enough to call into work and waste one of my few sick days. So I am currently at my desk, doped up on Dayquil (they say it’s non-drowsy, but from the state of my eyelids I’m not convinced), struggling to concentrate, failing, being completely unproductive, and writing this post. I made the adult decision to go into work instead of staying at home and watching multiple seasons of House of Cards, but for all they’re getting out of me I bet they wished I would have stayed home.
This most recent incident highlights a significant trend in my life of late; I am a responsible adult insofar as I have my own place, job, and cat, that I pay bills and taxes, and that I am almost completely self-sufficient. However, I have friends that are engaged, married, have kids, and have houses, and when I look at them, the thought of that much responsibility terrifies me.
If I am being honest with myself it’s not just the responsibility that terrifies me, but the idea of being accountable to someone else. I like the freedom that I have to decide what I am going to do with any given day. I am pretty happy with where I am right now, but if I became dissatisfied, there is nothing stopping me from picking up and moving to Timbuktu. KJ and my other friends are important to me, but would support anything I wanted to do with my life and therefore are not the impediment and a significant other, a child, or a mortgage would be. Also being honest, I think some people like me are acutely aware that they are too selfish to be that adult. I have things that I want to accomplish with my life and accountability like some of my friends have is not in the cards for me. I am starting to come to terms with that, but as I have been thinking about this for the past few weeks and as I am typing this now I have come to the conclusion that I am really talking about two different things.
I could be called immature for some of the things I do like wear a pair of pants until they start to smell. Immature, irresponsible, unadult, these are all words that could be used to describe my attitude and some of my decisions. That is one aspect of what I am talking about. I do not feel like I am entirely grown up. However, the way I have described “adult” is also a societal norm that some people, i.e. me, will never fit into. I have no desire to get married or have children and I am self-aware enough to recognize it. So I have come to the conclusion that I will never be “adult” the way that society views it and that’s okay. It is the other part of being adult, being responsible, deciding to go grocery shopping instead of watching an entire season of The West Wing, that I am still working on. I think that aspect of being adult is something I can aspire to and judging by the fact that I got my ass up and out of bed today and am sitting at my desk makes me think that I am not a complete lost cause, even if I do slip up now and again and eat an entire bag of Doritos.
It’s time for me to take more Dayquil and get back to work so I will leave you all with this thought that has plastered Doctor Who memes for many years:
“Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.” ~Chili Davis