The Importance of Adulthood
What is it that makes you an adult, exactly? Is it almost getting arrested for drinking in public? Because Karim Rahman did that and he still has no clue...
In general, I have always been an optimistic person. Going about my life with a Dorothy-esque take on everything, I always believed that home would be a heel-click away (how I would kill for those ruby shoes, though). To some, that utopian view of life seemed stupid, saccharine and naive. Others actually envied it, wishing they could go about their daily businesses with the same spring in their step and the never ending reserve of resolve that I seemed to draw upon at will.
To me, I fucking hated it.
See, to live la vie en rose is to have unrealistic expectations all the time. As a general karmic rule, unrealistic expectations are to be met with twice as much disappointment as how unreal they actually are; this I have learned from my rigorous training through the introductory life course that is "Watch Your Life Crumble before You 101." I don't know when this transition happened; I mean, from someone who's theme song used to be As a Blonde by Selena Gomez (listen to it, you'll hate me afterwards), I have now become this bitter, jaded shell of a human being who's only aspiration in life is to get through the day and curl up in bed again (sorry, Beyonce). This, my dear readers (all four of you), is what adulthood tastes like; of that, I am a hundred percent sure.
In fact, my optimism was seriously put to the test on the day of my 21st birthday. What was to be that one magical day a year where everything was supposed to go my way, it ended with me pulling an all-nighter the previous night, spending my birthday in last night's clothing, crying for 75% of it and then going back home to study for what was definitely the midterm week from hell. The next day, in an attempt to cheer me up, my friends decided to buy a bottle of wine and spend a night of heartfelt conversation, drinking in the car and recovering from a day of non-stop studying. It was all going very well and fine…until we almost got arrested. After a lot (and I mean a lot) of pleading and back and forth discussions with the two fine gentlemen of the law, we got out of it with our records and dignities intact. My expectations for my transition into adulthood, however, did not survive the ordeal.
But what is adulthood, really? Is it having a job? I've been doing that since I was 15, so I guess I've been an adult for the past six years. Is it being independent and taking responsibility for your decisions and actions? My therapist will vouch that my attachment issues stem from severe neglect by my parents as a child, and a constant state of fending for myself at a very early age. Is it almost getting arrested for just trying to have nice evening to counter the disaster that was my birthday? Is it living in a country where you constantly have to be on your toes just to get through the day? What the fuck is adulthood?
I don't think even adults know what adulthood is all about. There's no manual for this kind of thing; no guidebook with distinct, clear solutions for what to do in distinct, clear situations. But, news flash, life rarely ever has distinct, clear situations. It's messy, it's chaotic and it's exhausting. However, accepting that, knowing that there's nothing to do about the state of things, and adapting to how you deal with it is what adulthood is. That AA saying has more truth to it than it lets on. Accepting things that you cannot change and, instead of trying to alter them, adapting to them and rolling with them is what truly transitions you into that mythical state of being an "adult."
I have made it a point never to write this column when I'm emotionally volatile, and I've been a fucking basket case for the past two weeks (but in all honesty, when am I not?). But, maybe my writing about all of this, in some twisted adult way, marks the transition into adulthood? Ponder that in an adult manner.