15 April 2011

adulthood, revisited

I mentioned in a recent post that I don’t think of myself as an adult. Upon further reflection, I believe I have pinpointed the root of the problem. I have simply skipped over that phase of my life, and now exist simultaneously as an adolescent and an 87-year-old woman.

The similarities are striking. At first, I thought it was just a coincidence. Slouchy cardigans are an easy, comfy way to clothe my body without having to resort to sweatshirts and sweatpants (or no pants). And sometimes keeping my hair in a topknot is a practical way to avoid distracting myself when I need to get work done. My hair is really soft.

But, as I was looking in my closet, I realized that the similarities between old people and me do not end there. I own an excessive amount of high-waisted things. Shorts, skirts, offensive jeans. You name it, it’s probably in my closet or giving me polterwang like whoa.

Then I looked at my shoes. I wear shoes that look like this:

I think this picture speaks for itself.

Then I thought about my habits. I usually wake up at an ungodly hour, simply because I cannot sleep. More often than not, I wake up before my 7 am alarm and get shit done. Reading, writing, the odd tidying up. I realize that this practice probably drives my roommate nuts, but at least I shut my alarm off before it actually wakes anyone. I also understand that waking up early is not necessarily unique for a person with an actual job and real responsibilities, but I am a college student whose first class is not generally until around 10.

I eat lunch at 11:15 and dinner at 4:45. These times just happen to be when the dining hall opens, but I have trained my stomach to be hungry at these times, much like those who have several decades on me. I figure, since the food is available, I may as well eat it as soon as possible. Plus, no one else really eats at those times, which means less lines!

Then I looked in my bag.

First of all, it should be noted that the bag in question (though not pictured) is vintage. As in an old lady would probably consider it contemporary. It’s a vicious cycle.

Anyways, the contents of my bag (minus an inexplicable amount of pens) include hand cream that smells suspiciously like old people, a generic red lollipop, bootleg Vicks VapoRub, a pack of tissues with a kicky denim design, my glasses, and about a metric ton of Werther’s Original Hard Candies. If someone tried to attack me, I would probably resort to whacking said person over the head with my bag. There would be a shiny shower of gilded candy wrappers to distract my assailant as I fled the scene.

Not that I don't enjoy being young. I love having the youthful energy to stay up during all hours of the night and still be somewhat functional the next day. I love running around and wearing what I want and doing what I want and knowing that it's okay because I'm young and don't know better yet. I love that the mistakes I make are learning experiences and do not carry the gravity that mistakes made later will have.

But at the same time, there are certain aspects of being older than I cannot wait to experience for myself. I want to have concrete accomplishments that I can look at and feel proud to have done something that matters. I want to be able to wear what I want and to do what I want because I've lived long enough to know that what matters is that I make myself happy. I want to have the self-assurance that comes with lived experience.

I wish I could skip over the messy middle part of figuring everything out. But in the meanwhile, I'll live in my suspended reality, wearing my offensive jeans, eating my hard candies with Red Bull, and displaying the dark circles under my eyes unapologetically.


niña said...

I don't care what Marga says. I don't think you're crazy :) I like the way you write (and think). ~niña

Kayla said...

thank you! but i think we're all a little crazy.

Niña said...

I find craziness to be an askew point of view.

Kayla said...

it rhymed, so it must be true. #wordsbywhichtolive

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