Tag Archives: grown-up

Growing Into (Grown Up)

I think that I am all grown up and blooming. I think that I am fledged fully, and ready to take womanhood head on. But even now I’m still growing up and out; I can feel my bones lengthen and the skin follow, stretching along to cover them up, to stop them from breaking through at the finger-tips. And if there is more space now, expanded and filled with more blood and more fat and more muscle, why do I feel things falling away? Why is it that I feel like I’m feeling less, even though there is more of me?

I was a teen ten years ago, thin skinned and thoughts thick with uncertainty, with desire to make noise and to remain unseen, invisible. And the joy was so easy to touch, and so easily taken away, sucked out like a vacuum and held from me until I found the conduit that might take me back; the book, the song, the laughter of a friend, the voice of a crush.

Now, everything is soft, and warm, things are good, and comfortable, and I love it, but where’s that vibrant kind of joy that used to be so easy to touch?

 I looked for it this past Saturday night, in the places I knew I had seen it before. I looked for it through the smoke, in the bright, pulsing lights, in the low hum of the loud bass. I looked for it, and I got worried because I was straining my atoms but I just couldn’t feel it. I think maybe it was because I hadn’t had enough to drink, and that I needed to open up my hands, (clenched) and my pores (closed) and let the music surge in and fill these new, heavy spaces and lighten them. I shook my body to try and stir something up, but it was all just a soft buzz, stirred and settled and pressing down on my receptors like a thick layer of cloud.

 On the Sunday, hungover and sensitive to touch, I lay in my hammock, beneath the oleandar tree; everything was stretched out beneath the sun, and I was writing. I was writing and I knew I was onto something good, because I could feel the familiar surge, the adrenaline that comes with the fast motion blooming of ink on paper, the insect click click click of my fingers on the keyboard. I could see the words, written on the waves of the corrugated tin shed wall, and I was so filled by what I had made with my mind and my hands that I could barely sit still; the hammock rocked as if it were tethered to the masts of a ship, charging through the seething sea.

I felt the joy moving in me, blooming like roses in time-lapse motion.

 

Is this it? Have I grown into a simpler bliss? I’ve always been skeptical of those people, the ones who fill my Facebook feed with demonstrations of their simple happiness, and that if only we all ate paelio and took more baths and stopped watching reality televsion, then happiness would come so easily, but. What if that’s the place that I’ve grown into? The life of growing my own vegetables and drinking tea instead of vodka sugar and writing, writing, writing. These are the things I want to sink into.

 I stretched my bare foot out to touch the the tip of the Aloe I had planted the morning before. The leaves are still thin, a young green not yet ready to practice healing. I remember looking not for joy, but for healing as a teenage girl; I was feeding on the world, devouring the gifts of books, of music, breaking things and running through the suburban darkness like a wild thing, uprooted.

But now, now I am making. I am building something of my own, I am creating a world! I am the one who is planting the flowers, and making the magic. I am still a girl, still growing, not up but into life. I am rooted, but I realise now, that I am not a flower, delicate and easily trampled. I am a girl,who is a garden. 

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Kindred: Grown Up. No one can tell me I can’t say FUCK.

I’m not sure I ever took the time to contemplate what it means to be grown up. As a kid my thoughts were on owning a house and getting married and having kids and doing what’s supposed to happen next. High school led to undergrad. I always wanted to write.

 

Write write write.

 

In my head my future was writing, publishing novels, living in a city and traveling all the time. But I never took the time to fill in that fantasy and figure out what it means to be that person. That I would have to show up and do the work.

 

So now I’m on the last months before I turn thirty, and I’ve been thinking about it more and more. My entire twenties have been a sort of quarterlife crisis. You can say that doesn’t exist, but maybe our entire generation* is in the midst of a crisis. We can’t figure out which was is up or where to put our next steps. We can’t see a straight line into our futures. Being thirty for me is different than for my parents, having two children and settling into the house they still live in more than twenty-five years later.

 

The reality for me, right now, as a “grown up”, avoiding the word “adult and still referring to people as “girls” and “boys” as in I want to find a “boy” to date, it means living in your childhood bedroom, working a  9-5, taking graduate level classes, filled with wanderlust, reading books meant** for teenagers, and trying to find my way through “what is next”.

 

In ways that I’ve come to conclude, being “grown up” has come to mean doing things, being responsible, losing passion, giving in, settling down, giving up, forgetting dreams, holding your breath, doing whatever you want, responsibility, being able to be alone, knowing what you want, paychecks, owning something, facing problems, drinking coffee and wearing lipstick. ***

 

I’m surrounded by peers and strangers who have their shit together, who are fumbling, who live this image of what life is supposed to be like. Last year someone jokingly asked me why I wasn’t married yet and I responded with “I don’t have the time for that”. Being grown up is, really, what you perceive it to be. It’s more than an age and a status and a maturity. It’s more than what society tells you it is, but in reality sometimes you have to define it while pushing against the ideals and norms that society tells you. A grown up is someone (usually) taller than a toddler who children physically look up to, someone who chooses to use their wisdom to be or not be whatever the fuck they want to be.

 

A grown up is someone who can say “fuck” without apologies because there’s no one there telling them “you can’t say that bad word”. Or if there is, you don’t have to listen because you are grown up.

* Okay, some people have it figured out.

** I know, YA as a “genre” is almost a fake thing, more adults are reading YA now than ever before and I’m not alone in this.

*** all of this and none of this, but you’ve probably figured this out by now

 

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When I Grow Up….

I did a lot of thinking about what I wanted to do for this theme, and I felt stuck. I couldn’t settle on one thing. I think this is because I’m going through a time of transition and haven’t been able to focus many of the ideas on my head. This song always brings me back to my childhood. It brings to me the hope I had as a kid. We used to spend weekends in the Poconos; the house was surrounded by woods. They were frightening and beautiful, and we used to run through them, breathless and dizzy. When I listen to this song, I feel like I’m running through those woods, looking for deer and magic, breathing in the scents of earth and animal. I would spend so much time in the loft of the house where we would stay and read magazines and books, dreaming of becoming a writer, a fashion designer, a pretty girl.

Even now, a married woman with a steady career, I feel like that child, running, searching for the extraordinary. A fairy, a blessing, a sign. I find myself writing more. Not just fiction, but pouring myself onto the pages of my journal in an attempt to hold on to myself. Writing feels like both the most adult thing to do and the most childlike. When I write, I am running. I am discovering. I am free.

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by | February 17, 2014 · 3:16 pm