When I was a kid, I used to think that grown ups had it all figured out. When I was little, 25 seemed ancient and 30 was well and truly over-the-hill. I’m now 27 and I seem to be barreling towards my 30s with increasing speed. Thirty doesn’t seem old anymore, in fact, it seems young. Considering some of my friends are creeping towards their forties… but these friends are also grown ups. Me? Not so much.
You know grown ups don’t you? Hell, you probably are one.
A grown up has a nice car (or even better the beautifully restored vintage beast of my dreams), a house (rented or owned and styled to perfection), a family, a career, a path in life. A grown up pays bills and has a fancy phone and has great clothes that suit their style. Don’t they?
When I imagine myself as a grown up (yes, I still imagine myself as a grown up… don’t you?) I imagine a great little cottage home with all the (preferably second hand and restored) fittings. A family friendly backyard with an organic veggie patch. A studio space for me to write and create and a space for Ni to shape boards. I imagine a sustainable income that comes from something I love. I imagine real, close and lifelong friends who share drinks and food and love. I imagine the freedom of complete lifestyle choice for my family. I imagine a closet full of beautiful vintage clothes that were cleverly thrifted and upcycled to suit the style I so wish I had the time/money/skill to develop. I imagine well balanced beautifully cooked organic meals and clever crafting.
None of these things are a reality.
I drive a bomb of a car that I bought a month ago with a substantial chip off our savings. It’s the first car I’ve had in eight years. I have lived essentially out of suitcases since I turned 20 and I don’t have any friends in the town where I live as they are scattered all across the world or they have been lost due to time and space and awful communication. I have an incomplete masters and no “real” job. I have a freelance writing business that just (barely) keeps us afloat. I have this little blog (which I love). I have a chest of drawers full of clothes I have out-grown/out-lasted/out-lived. I live in the back room at my mothers house with my daughter and soon with my surf-rat husband.Often I feel like I’m playing house.I still have no idea how to do my hair and I’m more often than not mismatched and under-dressed. I never have enough sleep. I still eat cereal for dinner some days and I still need help and I still have no idea where I’m going.
I have big dreams and a beautiful little family who I love dearly and have even bigger dreams for. Shouldn’t I be grown up by now?
Facebook reminds me all to often that there are real grown ups out there. Friends and distant acquaintances with their cute little homes and their fancy jobs and their fancy meals and all their clever-ness. People with their picture-book perfect lives, lives that I don’t even want… I’ve never been a house-in-the-suburbs dreamer… but still for some reason judge myself against them. Why do we do this to ourselves??? I read blogs where the writers always seem so successful, so professional, such gorgeous photographs, such amazing lives, such perfection.
Do these people feel like grown ups?
Maybe they don’t. Maybe they doubt themselves like I do. Maybe none of us really ever have it together. One of my aims for Inked in Colour was to not be like all the other blogs. to be honest about life and marriage and womanhood (I still cringe calling myself a woman not a girl… but after pushing a baby out of my lady parts… I feel like woman it must be) and motherhood all of the doubts and fears and tears that come with it. Maybe honesty is messy.
Maybe the meaning of life is really like the bumper sticker says. All about the journey. Maybe part of the human condition is never really having it all together. Always developing. Always trying. Always comparing ourselves to each other but never really seeing that at the end of the day we are all exactly the same. Maybe I’ll still feel like this when I’m 80. And maybe that will be more than OK.
Or… maybe I’m just a mess. Or maybe not.