Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Just Realized . . .

I haven't blogged in a great long while. Far too long. So long that I don't even remember if anything interesting has happened in my life.

I know.

It's really been that long.

But unfortunately, my brain is currently less than functional due to a certain amount of cold medicine in my system.

Still, I felt obliged to say something.

So . . .

Something. And I'll write something real later, when I have some sort of normal time to think about it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

On Growing Up

"Being a grown-up isn't fun anymore." --A friend who shall remain anonymous, in recent conversation

"We're adults. When did that happen? And how do we make it stop?" --Meredith Grey

I have recently discovered many of the people in my acquaintance have glorified adulthood. They have attributed some sort of magical, mystical power to act of growing up and moving past college into their career fields.

Graduating, entering the "adult" realm, and forging our own paths: all of these things seem far away while we're in the course of obtaining our college education. All of these things also seem to imply a certain amount of freedom, as well.

And it isn't that growing up doesn't come without freedom. Freedom does come--as part of a package. I think so many of my friends have found themselves disenchanted with post-school life because they weren't cognizant that freedom came as part of a package deal.

Once freedom is in place--and by freedom, I mean independence from things such as parents, school, and their matching obligations--a new set of obligations comes into play. Work. Rent. Food. Balance.

In short, we trade one set of priorities for another and one system of rules and obligations for a new system. (To a friend--not the above-mentioned--who recently whined about her inability to find a job that allowed her to be completely free, I felt required to respond: Seriously? No, seriously?!)

Funny, but we tend to glorify this idea of we are on our own while experiencing a mental disconnect that does not allow us to evaluate all of the ramifications of we are on our own. We are on our own to structure our time, to decide our hobbies, to find our jobs, to do consistently good work at our jobs, to pay our taxes, to pay our rent, to make our meals, to buy our meals, to buy our groceries . . .

We have support systems, sure. My two roommates make sure I don't live in a vacuum. But ultimately, all of our responsibilities lie with us. We have achieved the great dream: reaching a point in our lives where nobody is dictating to us what we do. But we forget this comes with the obligation to act as our own dictator.

In short, since when has being a grown-up been fun?

Like everything, it has its fun moments. But fun has never been the essence of growing up, and I have to wonder where on earth we get this idea. (I'm leaning toward the media. Thus the Grey's quote . . . but I don't know that the media are the definitive answer to this particular question of origin)

I never looked at my parents and thought, "Hey, they're grown-ups. And they're having fun!" But I do remember thinking my parents had quite the number of duties and obligations.

As a child, the only reason I ever wanted to be grown-up was for the power. It seemed to come with a lot of power. But other than that, my child-like mind held onto the never-grow-up, Peter Pan ideal.

Because I thought growing up would stink.

It hasn't stunk. But it sure hasn't been magical or mystical either.

Thoughts? (Please.)