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.