Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I am now an adult... but it still strikes me at odd times. Like last night, when I realized that what I was most looking forward to was finishing the dishes and having a cup of tea in the backyard. Not that household cleanliness and hot drinks are bad, necessarily. But having that be the great joy of my evening--instead of, say, staying up till 1 around a campfire, or being kept awake by the torments of loooooove, or writing bad poetry about either of these two other things--felt suddenly very Grown Up. I immediately felt the need to go get a tattoo AND shave my head.

Except, you know, my job. And stuff.

A few weeks ago I had a long discussion with a friend about the difference between being a grownup and being an adult. Grownups have dead souls, was the implication. Grownups are done growing, and done changing. Grownups in the Little Prince grande personne sense. Which doesn't feel like what I am, but maybe I'm deluding myself? I do feel more stable, less volatile, more certain of myself and of the world. I am calmer and more likely to take pleasures from the contrast between hot tea and cool evening air than from uprooting my life on a whim. Maybe that looks like soul-death from the outside.

And then Jenny Holzer, as part of her work Truisms posted this message on Twitter the other day:

While I've accepted most of her other truisms as, well, true, this one stuck in my gullet. Which I says more about me remaining partially adolescent than it does about the truthfulness of the statement.

I want to end with a conclusion that starts, "But then I..." Unfortunately, there is no conclusion. My self is in tension with myself. Is becoming an adult like selling out? Did all of the adults I knew as a young person--people who seemed so together and responsible and boring--all feel like this? Yes, and yes. Looking forward to more of this.

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