A few weeks ago I had to wait so long for the bathroom in the morning that I found myself forced to make the executive – adult – decision to pee in a Pringles can. Clearly not my finest hour but when you’ve got to go… The point is, there are plenty of things in our lives that we cannot control (including how long housemates take in the bathroom) and sometimes the best thing to do is throw caution to the wind, think of a solution and pray to baby cheesus that shit doesn’t get worse.
Life is fucking hard and being an adult is a terrible joke, especially after the horror of adolescence. Lately I have found myself chucking full-blown tantrums and metaphorically throwing all my toys out of the pram. Some days I just want to wake up, walk to the kitchen and discover that my Mother has made pancakes; that I get to eat even though I didn’t have to cook them and won’t be expected to it clean up. Some days I want to rewind the clock and give away allllllll my responsibility, say goodbye to anxiety and have someone take care of me and just tell me how cute I am. So, I’m taking some time to reflect on the things I took for granted when I looked like this…
Living at home. I really didn’t want for anything when I was a kid. We had a pool, an IBM computer and a Super Nintendo that my brother would let me play with – sometimes. My Dad was a fireman and my mother ran a daycare centre out of our house. Barbie was my best friend and didn’t mind when I cut off all her hair and kicked Ken out of their mansion so that her ‘friend’ Kendall could move in. We watched Home & Away while we ate dinner every night, I had a warm bed and didn’t have to worry about anything other than getting my homework done and making Space Diorama’s.
As I got older, my relationship with my Mother became toxic to say the least. We would scream at each other, hurling abuse and suddenly living at home didn’t seem as great as it used to. I couldn’t wait to be an adult and have my own safe space. I assumed that having the freedom to buy what I wanted, to say and think whatever I felt and to make my own decisions would be bliss. I obviously didn’t factor in paying bills, having full responsibility for myself or missing those buttermilk pancakes.
Money. I had no grasp on how money worked, how much things cost or the fact that credit cards needed to be paid back. BIG W was my favourite place and I thought I could have anything I laid my eyes on. One time I ran away from my mother and hid in an Easter egg display. After eating my way to a stomach ache, the nice ladies at BIG W took one look at my big green eyes and instead of being mad, they focused on being relieved that I hadn’t been abducted. They didn’t even make my Mother pay for the chocolate I had effectively stolen. In hindsight this was not helpful in securing common sense about shopping or getting everything you want. At all.
Imagine my surprise when I realised that you actually have to work hard for your money and then before you can even blink, a large portion is stolen by the tax man and the rest is fully devoured by bills. Everything else you buy must have a purpose. I’d like to think that I have figured it out and I’m making good choices but I spend so much money on food, wine and bath bombs that I clearly still have a long way to go.
Naps. Naps were the devil because I had lots of other important things to do like finger painting, feeding my Baby Bjorn and kissing other children at Kindy under a table. Shout out to Samuel Birch, my first boyfriend.
Looking back, naps were fanfuckingtastic! In fact, I wish it was mandatory for everyone to nap during the day, every day. Imagine being able to lay down on a foam mat for an hour – no matter where you are – close your eyes and listen to the tranquil sounds of the rainforest or the ocean. Who do I need to talk to about making this a thing?
Friendships. Children make friends and forget about arguments so quickly and very rarely hold grudges. Although children can be judgemental little assholes, these behaviours are usually taught by their older judgemental asshole parents. The worst thing a childhood friend could do was tell your crush that you liked them or press way too hard when using your favourite Faber-Castell connector pens.
As an adult, good friends are hard to come by. Navigating busy schedules, children, partners and anything else that comes your way is tedious. Finding humans that you connect with, can trust and don’t give you the absolute shits can be a nightmare. However fighting with your friends as an adult is the pits. It can mean ignoring their calls, passive aggressive Facebook posts and being ‘too busy’ to catch up for months with little to no explanation. Obviously I am the exception to this stupidity because my friends and I aren’t jerks but it is a real thing.
Grooming and getting ready. Someone else would pay for my haircuts, remind me to brush my teeth and braid my hair. I played lots of sport and would Rollerblade down the street all afternoon so my body was a youthful representation of how active I was. My outfits we chosen for me and it was up to my parents to make sure I didn’t look ridiculous when I left the house. It was the 90’s though so it was pretty much always a disaster. Also, I hadn’t yet started to shave/wax everywhere from the eyebrows down, so there was very little for me to do to prepare myself for leaving the house.
These days, I won’t go outside without my eyebrows and I’m okay with it. In fact, I’m actually quite proud of those hairy eye frames, it just means getting ready is a production. Sometimes I just can’t be assed thinking about what to wear or whether anything matches. Can I just time travel back to when the anxiety of outfit repeating and looking #flawless didn’t even enter my mind?
If this week has convinced me of anything, it would be that it is okay to not want to adult sometimes. Making big choices, taking responsibility for yourself and your actions, while protecting your heart and well-being is exhausting. I have encouraged my inner child to marinate in whatever feelings I happen to have this week and to stop apologising for not having the energy to be bothered adulting at all.
I’ve eaten cereal for dinner, played in a bubble bath for hours while drinking wine and made a giant pillow fort in my living room. I may not be as cute as I once was and although batting my eyelashes almost always still works, I probably couldn’t get away with wearing Barbie everything and look, that’s obviously for the best. We don’t actually have to be so serious all the time. Life is crazy and sometimes shit gets hard so when you’re sick of being an adult, give yourself permission to take some time out, appreciate your inner child and play pretend for a minute.