Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Someone at work asked me if I was excited to get back to school.  What came out of my mouth shocked even me.  Here's what I said: (Right now I'm going to use the new block quote button just for curiosities sake.) 
"I'm not so excited to get back to school, but I am excited to stop having to pretend to be an adult in a corporate environment.  I want to be a kid again."
Hm...now I can't get it to un block quote.  ha.  Anyway... I actually said that to someone.  And she laughed, but with hesitation.  She wasn't like a boss or anyone with too much power so it was probably ok.  But I think that statement was far more telling than I realized at the time.  I've been thinking about it since yesterday when the discussion took place.  I think I pushed my self to grow up too fast.  Those four years out of high school, that most middle class American kids dedicate to college, are such great transitional years.  You gradually get introduced to being an adult.  I mean I'm sure there are people who party their way through school and end up possibly less mature than when they entered, but for the most part students who desire to succeed in life end up graduating having a better grasp on adulthood than when they entered.  I haven't had those years.  I thought I was ready to be an adult when I graduated high school.  Afterall, I was eighteen and the government said I was an adult.  I could feed myself, dress myself, drive myself, work for myself, and could do everything else that indicates adulthood.  I was smart, mature, and could trick a lot of people into thinking I was older than I actually was.  But that was the problem.  It was all just a trick.  My insides hadn't caught up to my outsides.  It's like that movie with Robin Williams...I don't remember what it's called, and I don't think I ever actually saw it.  But he has a disease where he grows really fast, and so he looks 30 but is really only 10 or something.  I had to pretend I was an adult because the choices I made after high school were adult descisions.  Kids don't graduate and move overseas...twice.  They graduate, don't make a choice, go to college, study something they hate, choose to study something else, hate it, change again...all the while paying $28,000 a year.  I think I did a really good job last year of pretending to be grown up.  I went to school full time, worked part time, somehow supported myself, paid all my own expenses, and impressed a lot of people by my incredible maturity and ability to act so old at such a young age.  My job this summer has brought me to the breaking point.  I've had to dress, act, and talk like a corporate zombie and after only two months, I'm screaming to get out.  I'm not asking for less responsibility, or to return to a junior high maturity level...God forbid.  And maybe I'm not even resisting "Adult World" (Mean Girls anyone?), more like dreading the idea of becoming like the adults I see around me.  I don't regret any of the things I've done since high school, and there's no way in the world I would trade them in for a more "traditional" route through my twenties.  But I do wish I would have somehow been able to avoid Adult World for a while longer.  It's harsh out here.  I don't know how to navigate these waters, and I feel like I've been thrown in "sink or swim".  A part of me feels like I will at least be recieving a life boat in the next few weeks.  Not that things are going to get easier, I don't think that at all.  I think things are going to get much more difficult than perhaps they've ever been...yesssssssssssssssss.  But I feel like for the first time in a while I'm at least going to have the freedom to be me.  No more pretending to be a "suit", no more faking that I have it all together when I don't know what the hell I'm doing.  And maybe a bit of a chance to learn more about being grown up before actually having to be there.