Tuesdays with Tish: Will I Ever Grow Up?
This week I am back at work after two weeks off- thank god. I was going a little nuts at home alone for so long. I somehow couldn't manage to get together with any friends during that whole time, so my only socializing was family for Christmas, two bad dates, a hair appointment, and a last-minute radio appearance. I watched a lot of movies, as planned. I cleaned, organized, and un-decorated my apartment which means now my living room is immaculate and the rest is full of the junk I want to be rid of. I feel like I went through a roller coaster of emotions and mental health conditions in those two weeks. (For a couple days, I couldn't shake the near-constant anxiety-induced stomach pains, which just created an anxiety circle of anxiety over my anxiety.) So, I am very glad to be back in the office with my lovely coworkers before I got to rocking-in-the-corner level of cabin fever.
Does anyone ever really feel like they are the person that they want to be? Recently, maybe since I turned -gasp- 29 two months ago, I've been trying things to feel more... grown-up, I guess. I've been shopping for more 'nice' clothes because I want to feel confident at work. I looked around my apartment and decided things need to come off the walls and shelves because too much decorative stuff is cluttered and silly and not my decor style. I love my apartment, but if I were to invite, say, an older-than-I co-worker, I'd be so embarrassed like “Hey, wanna come over to my little clubhouse that I decorated and like to pretend is like a real house?" I am one person; I know that a one bedroom apartment is the right size for me (and a vast improvement from the bachelor basement apartment I lived in for most of my twenties). And, yet, I still feel like a teen who is just playing grown-up. I buy these nice clothes but then worry that I look like a kid playing dress-up. Like when I was a kid or a teen and I would find a new thing or style or garment and think it was so [whatever I was into] but looking back, I didn't look like that movie character when I wore that coat because it wasn't actually that similar and also way too big for me. “Am I just kidding myself?” is a sentiment that hasn’t gone away.
Am I just still at a transitional age when I'm realizing these grown-up things are not so grown-up? When I think I've got a part of my life top-notch, I see someone who seems to be doing even better at that. More advanced. A level up. One important thing I learned about "adulting” (Can we retire that word, please?) in my twenties is that we're all adults, actually. And we're all messes. We just have different shit to deal with. You think someone is more "adult" than you because they own a house and you rent an apartment? That just means they got house ownership shit to deal with while you have apartment rental shit to deal with. Some people accumulate more shit and different shit, but we're all just dealing with our own shit one day at a time. Don't compare your shit. Have I said 'shit' enough? I'm a great writer.
And, of course, I'm also struggling with a lot of these seemingly grown-up things come only, or at least easier, when you have a partner. I'll never own a house, or a car, or go on interesting vacations. I can't afford that stuff on a single salary, and I don't want to travel alone. I spent over a year thinking that I would soon have that partnered kind of life, imagining all the things we could do together, and what a lovely life we would have together. ("I'm fine!" she says, unconvincingly.) But with everyone around me moving through life with a partner, I really feel like I'm missing a big piece of that adult life. (Wait- did I just want a boyfriend so I could get a nicer apartment?)
The thing about New Year’s resolutions and whatnot is that there is never a definitive end/beginning of any part of your life. Everything is just changing and transitioning and happening all the time at the same time. And you never feel caught up or complete or done or enough. There’s always more/better that you want to do. And I just had two weeks of time to let all these thoughts of inadequacy and changes I want to make float up to the top of the brain soup where I can see them. So, I guess there’s nothing to do but keep trying to change into the person I want to be, knowing that I’ll never feel like I’ve got there because who I want to be will change as I change.
Alexis, who has changed and grown a lot, knows you can't compare yourself to others.
See you next Tuesday.