"One of the things about being a grown-up is learning how to act right even when you feel wrong."
- Sean Stewart
I know that you are going to think this is horseshit, Company, but over the course of my life there are not a whole lot of things that I have found to be remarkable about myself. One of the few things that have always filled me with wonder and excitement about me though, is that I have never really made it to the point in my life when I have realized that I am an adult. I love this about me. I have always sort of felt the same way that I felt when I was 22, which isn't too far away from the way that I felt when I was 18, which, could I remember all the way back then, probably isn't too far from how I felt when I was 13. I am not sure why I have always felt this way, I just sort of have. It is almost like the major mileposts of my life have gone by without much in the way of celebration or fanfare. I shouldn't say that. Let's rephrase. It's almost like the major mileposts of my life have gone by without effecting major change. That's probably a better way of putting it. I have entered high school, got my drivers license, turned 18, graduated high school, gone off to college, turned 21, graduated college, passed my golden birthday, and nothing seems different to me. Well, it seems different, and I know that I am not the same person I was as I stood quaking on the podium giving the speech at my high school graduation, it just seems to me that I have always just sort of been me. Maybe it's because you tend not to see the changes when you are so close to them, you can only see the scenery changing up on the banks until suddenly you become very aware of the fact that you are in a different place. And it has always seemed with me: I can see all the stuff around me changing and moving and becoming new and different, but I never quite realized that I was part of that picture until just recently. One day I looked around me and realized that Holy Shit, I'm an adult.
When the hell did that happen? And why wasn't I made aware sooner? I am not kidding you, I just figured this out just now. In my mind I have always been surrounded by adults and I have just sort of been some punk kid. But I am not. I am a living, breathing, adult male. I am not sure when or how this happened. I certainly did not approve this change, did somebody run this by me in writing? Anyway, this new found adulthood scares the living hell out of me. It really does. Like, I caught myself carrying around a planner the other day, and even writing thing in it! I have discovered myself making responsible, thought-out decisions on important matters as opposed to snap decisions based on how I am feeling at this very moment. I find myself annoyed with the 18-year old kids being loud and having a good time in the apartment next door. I used to be that kid. I don't just go with the flow and do what I do anymore. I plan and worry and fret about the future. I am scared as hell about this.
Granted, my planner is carried around in a bright blue backpack as opposed to a briefcase. And I still make those snap decisions all the time about daily stuff. And those kids don't so much annoy me as much as they just make me feel a little jealous. I mean, come one, just this past summer I was on my deck getting sprayed by Duke with the shower head out the bathroom window while Dingo screamed with laughter and Guy H almost died wheezing. That was me less than a year ago. But now I am a grown up. I am tempted to say "No, no. I refuse. I will not partake in this business." But there comes a time when you simply can't do that anymore. So I am going to take a more cautious, middle-of the road kind of approach to things. I am going to a grown up that's still a kid at heart. Because that means I am responsible but still endearing and that I don't take myself too seriously. Because that's the whole point, isn't it? Not to take one's self too seriously? So I am not going to, that's the bottom line. Kids, have your fun. Enjoy your being loud and drinking shitty beer that your buddy who is creepy and you just hand around with because he's old enough to buy beer and who pays for everything because he's a loser and has some cash on hand bought you. That's fine. I am not going to infringe upon your fun. I was there once, and just desperately want to get back again, which we all know is not going to happen. The river only flows one direction. Time only goes one way. Someday those kiddos are going wake up and realize that they are all grown up and the same terrible thoughts are going to be racing through their heads. That is just the way it works. The hilarious Dane Cook got it all wrong when he described the sound of growing up. It is not an electronic-sounding noise that raises in pitch at intervals that sounds like something only Kit would make in a Knight Rider episode. Oh no. The sound of growing up is the sound of a 27-year old freaking out because he's not as fun as he used to be and lives in a shitty apartment and drives a shitty car. That's the real sound of growing up.