I’m trying to be all healthy and active and whatnot

I Read A Lot of Internets

dain bramage

One thing that my brain keeps having a hard time wrapping itself around, much like a stripper on her first night on the pole, is that there won’t come a moment where I just feel like an adult from that point on.

I’ve been working a lot this year on mindfulness. That is, being present in what I’m doing at the moment instead of constantly living for some future life that I think I need to achieve that may or may not come to fruition, regardless of my efforts. On the one hand, it motivates me to push myself further. On the other, much uglier hand, it causes me stress and anxiety that is later followed by deep regret. (ie, If we had known that pursuing more education would not only not help our financial situation but actively make it waaaaay worse, the husband and I would have just enjoyed life, spent more time with the baby and UGH HERE I GO AGAIN FRETTING ABOUT STUFF I CAN’T CHANGE FAAACK.)

I also do this thing where if I have a bad day or a bad week, to me it’s not just one of those things that happens, it’s indicative of how I’m not an adult, how I’ve never matured to a point where I can just take care of myself and my family, how I’m too stupid and irresponsible to do what I need to do to not have a frantic period of time.

This morning, for example, I woke up and looked at my phone for a second. My iPhone is my alarm clock and I usually hit the “snooze” button a few times before waking up for real. And I usually take a few minutes to look at my email or something, not because I’m sooo important or sooo addicted to email, but getting my brain engaged helps me to actually wake up and get moving.

This morning, however, I looked at my email and then fell asleep again at some point. (I apparently engaged in some sleep-emailing, which is like drunk-texting but dumber, as I forwarded an ad about Barnes & Noble’s Columbus Day sale to some very confused person in my contacts list. Sorry if that was you.) I only woke up a little bit later, around the time when we should have been leaving the house to go to the baby’s bus stop. To my credit, I stayed relatively calm when, in my less graceful days, I might have started yelling at the baby and the husband to GET MOVING RIGHT FUCKING NOW OH MY GOD WHHYYYYYYY IS THIS HAPPENING BEING LATE IS THE WORST CRIME OF HUMANITY AND WE’RE ALL GUILTY.

Despite my calm exterior, however, I spent the rest of the morning engaged in an intense self-flagellation-by-inner-monologue session, belittling myself for not being like a real grown-up and not only getting up early, but going to bed at a decent hour so I can get enough sleep. I also don’t regularly prepare for my mornings by getting stuff like lunches and clothes ready to go the night before because I always reach this point in the evening where I just need the day to be over and I think about basically starting the next day already and it makes me want to cry and write run-on sentences.

I’m also dealing with a lot of bills and student loan matters right now that I feel absolutely powerless to control and I want so badly to be able to hand the whole matter over to someone and be like, “Deal with and/or pay these for me.”

And I say to myself, “Real adults get enough sleep, pay their bills on time, don’t have a ton of debt, get up early, exercise, have lunches and coffee ready to go, don’t make their kids late for school, never have dirty hair, dress appropriately, and they might be tired but they suck it up and do what they have to do, and YOU are not an adult until you do all of these things every day.”

I’ll have a streak of a few days where all of these things fall into place, but then something will knock me slightly off kilter and it all seems to fall apart. And I don’t understand why I can’t just MAKE it happen.

7 comments to dain bramage

  • fasa

    Have you ever met an adult who does all those things?
    Yeah, they don’t exist.

  • fasa

    In other words, you are a perfectly fine adult. Normal adult. Don’t feel so bad about your normal self. :)

  • My mother did all of those things. For the great triumph of expertly managing her life for the entire 23 years (or so) that her children shared a roof with her, she got the following:
    – approximately 20 years of a loveless marriage, that has now only survived because they’re retired and have time to learn how to love one another
    – a 3+ hour daily commute
    – no friendships to speak of, unless they were the parents of my friends and there was some sort of mutually-beneficial exchange happening
    – panic attacks that generally manifested in the form of blind (mildly violent) rages
    – no hobbies, unless you count making Halloween costumes or school projects

    And now that she’s retired, and living the life she always dreamed of living she gets to:
    – wake up when she wants to wake up
    – scrapbook
    – bake
    – travel
    – manage chronic serious health conditions, like auto-immune hepatitis, migraines and rheumatoid arthritis, that she attributes to being a high-strung, manic, controlling, obsessive, perfectionist adult for 30 years

    My mother, who made me write essays for extra credit while I was laid up with the chicken pox in 5th grade, tells me now to not do what she did. She encourages me to not be perfect. She wants me to enjoy my life. There is no balanced way to be an adult like that. I think you should give yourself a big ol’ break, woman. <3

  • The whole You Miraculously Feel Like An Adult thing is bullshit. It doesn’t happen. I say this with some authority only because I’m like 10 fucking years older than you. This is it. As Adult as I get, I guess. :) xo

  • If you had ever met my parents you would know that “Being and Adult” doesn’t look like you think it does. Celebrate the good days. Today I pre-packed my lunch and laid out my clothes AND took my shower after taking the dog to the park but BEFORE I checked Facebook, today is a rare motherfucking day. I’m 42 and I own a house and hold down a job and get places mostly on time. I’m celebrating with an ice cream sandwich and a trip to buy some spandex to make my dog’s Halloween costume. So, yeah. Adult. It comes in a variety of flavors. Your flavor is equally delicious.

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