Mar 17, 2009

On being an adult

I spent much of my youth wishing I was older. There always seemed to be something tantalizing on the horizon, and I was sure the next notch of happiness would be attached to my next magical birthday. People always told me that I shouldn't wish away my youth, that with age came responsibility, that someday I'd want to be 15 again. I just rolled my eyes and kept wishing.

By and large, I was enormously relieved to leave behind my teenage years, the dating scene, and youthful naivete. On occasion, however, I now long for the days of simple responsibility, the days of making decisions that impacted few and for a very short time.

I'm an adult now, and life doesn't work that way anymore. Mostly I'm fine with my less-than-simple lfe, but on days like today I wish that someone else could make my big and complex decisions for me. I wish I could send an ambassador to have the difficult conversations, to stand up for something important, to deliver awkward news, to effect an important change. The kid in me would rather stand in the corner, be calm, demure and naive, and hand out compliments and handshakes like they were candy. And maybe hand out candy, too.

Instead of being that perky kid, today I had to be a persistent parent who demanded something that was supposed to be impossible. I had to stir the pot, make some waves, and be a teensy bit unpleasant. I had to make myself and others uncomfortable. I really didn't enjoy myself at all, and I kept calling the awesome man in my life to give me pep talks.

But you know what? At the end of the day, I am proud of myself. I discovered I'm not willing to stand idly by and surrender to the juvenile within. Having passionate feelings sometimes demands taking bold steps. I can do hard things, especially when they are important for my children and their future. I can suffer through the unpleasant when my heart knows the outcome will be worth it.

Today was a long and difficult day, but it was a good one. Perhaps in a future post, I'll fill in the gaps and tell you why. For now, I'm satisfied knowing that I can be a pretty good adult sometimes.
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