Saturday, February 18, 2012

The eternal conflict of when to grow up

As long as I can remember, I've been trying to grow up fast.  A lot of this probably comes from my little complex about how young I look, and I think I've done a pretty good job of growing up the way I'm supposed to.  Every time I do something independent or super mature or something, I feel really empowered and awesome.  That said, here I am, doing something most adultish thing I've ever done, and I'm so CONFLICTED.

For example, if I go to a party or something, I have lots of fun and it feels good to be free and making my own decisions (even if they might not be the best decisions in the world).  But then, I'll get home the next morning and find a letter in the mail from my dad.  I'll read it and it'll be full of wonderful things about how proud he is of me, and how much he loves me, and it makes me feel really happy (albeit a little homesick).  Then I'm suddenly filled with guilt about the partying and all I'll want to do is fly home and hug my parents and apologize.

I'm not saying it's "adult" to go partying, but my point is that it's a weird feeling to be SO ready to get out of my childhood life and yet have such a strong inclination to call my parents all the time and tell them about my day, etc.  I guess that's what I get for having awesome parents.

Anyway, back to my dilemma.  I was talking to my brother, S, the other day about how strange it is that all four of us (my 3 siblings and I) are actually doing real life right now.  We're all off on our own, working and living on our own.  Even though, my situation is a bit different because I haven't actually finished school yet and I'm not going to be here permanently (yet), it's really strange to have my brother or sisters call me and when I'm not at school or home.  I keep thinking that this is almost exactly how it's going to be in a few years when I'm really working a paying job and being a legit person and everything.  It sounds weird to talk about real people versus...not real people.

All I really mean by that is that it takes a while before you actually get into the real, adult world.  Yesterday, I was talking to one of the assistants I work with, T, about planning for retirement when you're younger and how to do it when you don't have any money and you're still in college.  This brought us into a conversation about life in general, and T said, "college isn't real."

That couldn't be more true.  Sorry, all you high school students who think their real lives will start when they get to college.  It won't.  I figured this out pretty quickly when I went to college.  For one thing, although I had more social freedom than I'd had in high school, there were still professors controlling most of my life by way of essays and exams.  For another, Emerson was still in control of my living situation.  So, yes- it was different.  But it wasn't real.  I also realized that, even though I developed a lot as a human being while I was at school, whenever I went home, I would involuntarily revert back to my childish self a little bit.

So what does that mean for me now??

Am I going to revert back to my somewhat less mature, college self when I go back in a year and a half? Or do I just postpone growing up now so I don't have to beat myself up later because I'm reverting? I don't want to take any steps backwards.  Ever.  But I want to be able to do that and still hold on to what I like about my life before now.

I like where I am and I like where I'm going.  How am I supposed to stay away from where I was?

I haven't had any photos in my posts for a LONG time!!!  It's mainly because I can't think of enough topical photos that I can add without feeling guilty about pirating them.  SO- I'm asking you guys what photos you think I should put in my next post.  Tomorrow's post is called:

Afraid of the Dark: if the monsters can't see me they won't find me


1 comment:

  1. So, when I studied in Argentina I had a very similar feeling because I was living/cooking/transporting on my own, without family or school, and I thought, how can I ever return to colleg where it's this fantasy land. I probably wrote in my blog about that feeling, in fact. And the first month back was actually really hard. It felt so silly being back in this world where it was all taken care of and people were "less real" or less mature or whatever. But...then you kinda just adjust and it gets great again. And then you grow up again when you graduate :)