Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sunday Scribblings: Adult

I haven't Scribbled in a long, long time. But since I'm trying to reinvigorate my blogging (as I posted about here), I figured I'd return to an old favorite way to get my writing.

On this week's Sunday Scribblings prompt, this question about adulthood spoke to me the most: Are you glad to finally be an adult? I thought about this question the other day, when I heard some fellow commuters talking about their teenagers. The parents were saying how lucky the teens had it--they didn't have bills to pay or jobs to worry about. I shook my head and thought to myself, How wrong those people are. I will take bills and jobs and car troubles and relationship problems and all the other downsides of adult life over the many downsides of being a teen. The most prominent one in my memory? How poorly developed my sense of myself was.

With every passing year, I get to know myself that much better. And with that knowledge comes a sense of confidence that I just couldn't have had as a teenager. I didn't trust that I had the strength to get through the minor challenges that I barely think about now. I remember crying so hard when the Amtrak train I was supposed to get on was oversold and there was no more room for me. I was 19 or so, heading back to college after winter break. When the train stopped at Penn Station, even the doorways were crammed with people sitting on their suitcases.

As the train pulled away, tears of frustration filled my eyes. I didn't know what else to do. I pictured train after train coming into the station already full, and my being stuck in Penn Station forever.

Now, when things like that happen, I know that even if I can't get a fair or reasonable response from the people in charge (as was the case when I tried to get someone to explain to me how they could sell more tickets for a train than there were seats on that train--why have me make a reservation for a particular train if that reservation is meaningless?), I can take care of myself. I can buy a bus ticket instead, or rent a car. I can call someone to see if I can spend the night on their couch and catch a train the next day. I can sleep in the train station if I really have to.

I can also deal with the anger and frustration that comes with these situations by venting out loud or in my head. By knowing that when I get home, I WILL be getting a refund for that train ticket if I had to spend more money on an alternate mode of transportation. And I know that no matter what happens, I'll be OK. I'm smart enough and strong enough to figure something out.

As a teenager, I didn't know that about myself. And I wouldn't trade that knowledge for anything--not the ability to sleep in every day of the summer, not the ignorance of credit card late fees, none of it.

What are your thoughts on adulthood? For others' take on the subject, check out Sunday Scribblings. Best Blogger Tips

11 comments:

Lilibeth said...

You are right, at that. Being an adult beats being a teenager in lots of ways...I guess the worst thing I know about being an adult--one I couldn't blog about because they faithfully read everything I write--is watching ones parents get old and feeble and not being able to do anything at all about it.

Stan Ski said...

Great piece - it's experiences like this that make us realise...or at least begin to realise.

quin browne said...

i still don't know what i'm going to be... i only know i write, think, and knit far too many scarves.

i liked your take on this...

Giggles said...

This resonates with me!! Excellent and so true!! Older you get the wiser you often become!! Some of us anyway!!

anthonynorth said...

An excellent piece, and you raise an important point about those teenage years.

Americanising Desi said...

lovely pointers!!!
surely i will have to keep em in mind when my kids are in their teens :)

Partly Adult, Largely Corrupt

January said...

Great post. I like being an adult. Even though it is difficult somedays, I like having the life experience behind me to make informed choices.

Dee Martin said...

Being an adult may have it's drawbacks but I wouldn't do teenager again for all the money in the world. They have such a wide avenue of choice today and so few role models to help them find and stay on the right path. They are "adults" in some ways way to soon. I wish they could just be kids a bit longer.

aspiemom said...

Absolutely 100% correct.

I turned 40, ahem, a few years ago and thought, "Wow, this is fantastic! I love being 40."

I wear whatever I want to wear and stopped giving a rip about what other people think--um, for the most part.

Really good piece. And Thank you for stopping by!

asleeponmyfeet said...

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to redo childhood and the teenage years... knowing what you know now? Then that upset 19 year old on the train station platform would be fully confident and capable...
Even as a child, your ability to make the most of your situation would be amazing...
It's something to think about.

DJPare said...

I agree with everything you said. That sleeping in every day part though does sound nice...

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