I am currently knitting away defiantly on my almost-finished Carnaby while pausing occasionally to glare at the massive pile of new-job paperwork sitting on my coffee table. The adult in me knows I need to get it all done, but darn it, I spent all day yesterday working on boring grown up stuff and today I want to be able to knit, at least a little. I didn’t do any knitting at allllll yesterday (You should be hearing the imitation of my whining students I’m doing in my head. It’s funny, I swear).
This little battle going on between my adult self and my inner child has me thinking about what it means to be an adult. When I was a small child, I thought staying up late meant cupcakes for dinner and staying up as late as I want and nobody ever telling me what to do ever again. Okay, the cupcakes have been known to happen occasionally, but it takes a concerted effort to stay up til 10:30 many nights. Some nights, I barely make it through dinner. Now that I’m a teacher, I have more levels of people telling me what to do that my student-self could have imagined existed.
When I was right out of undergrad, I’m not sure what I thought an adult was, but it sure wasn’t me. I was convinced that at any moment someone was going to ask to see my super-secret adult card, and then they’d know that I’d just been masquerading for the last few months. It didn’t help that I’m still roughly the same size I was in 8th grade and way too lazy to wear makeup. For the first year or two I was teaching, teachers I didn’t see often would stop me in the hallways and demand to see my pass, or want to know why I was standing around in the hall instead of going to class. The response, “I’m taking my class to their lockers” always led to some fun conversations.
More recently I’ve come to the conclusion that no one ever really “becomes” an adult. There’s no moment of, “Well, that’s it. Guess I’m a grown-up now”. You just look up one day and discover that you chose to complete a huge stack of paperwork rather than knit a few more rows. You hate yourself a little (“You used to be cool, man!”) but you’re a little bit proud too. You realize that you are, in fact, a responsible adult, and you wonder when the heck that happened.
Then you go out and have some fun. Because who the heck is going to tell you you can’t stay out til 2 on a school night, or eat all the cookie dough instead of baking cookies? No one, because you’re an adult, dang it!
Psst…you can see from the photos in this post one way I like to feed my inner child. What do you do to keep yours happy?