Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Second Awkward Stage

*Many thanks to Miss Lizzy-B for this post idea.*

In high school, I thought that awkward teenager stage would never end.

I grew so fast I tripped over my own feet constantly. My clothes never fit well. I always thought the crowd over by the door was laughing at me. And I never knew what to say, which often resulted in the weirdest things coming out of my mouth. So... like now, but on accident.

When I got to college, that phase was stripped away in layers, like old wallpaper. I loved the color of the walls underneath: a sign that things were gorgeous on the other side.

That was until I realized the walls were plastered with spreadsheets, and I found out it wasn't over yet.

By that, I mean nobody told me there was a second awkward stage: stepping into adulthood.

Now that I'm 26, I feel like there are certain things I should know. What a mortgage actually does, why it's called a 401k, something - anything - about actually budgeting rather than just guessing how much to spend.

I know who to call if there's something strange in the neighborhood, but I think all my neighbors do too, so that doesn't count.

Mind you, I don't really want to know any of the stuff I mentioned above. Things like finances bore me to absolute death. I answer most interview questions by spewing out whatever seems right, not by prepping in advance.

And I still don't own a suit jacket. Maybe that would make me feel more grown up. But I'd just attach crazy patches to it and the illusion would be shattered.

I still hate small talk. Did when I had to do it in high school around recruiters, or distant friends of the family. Hated it in college, when applying for jobs or talking at customers. Now, I can partake of it to a certain extent, which helps me avoid the awkwardness of meeting actual adults. But I loathe small talk with a burning passion. I think if there was a general convention of adults somewhere, everyone would say the same thing:

"Look, we all know we're faking it. How about we cut the crap and talk about something real?"

Instead, we wander around with fake faces and say things like, "So... it's raining" to the stranger standing next to us as it pours, who knew it was raining 20 minutes ago and doesn't want to talk to us anyway.

To be a legitimate adult in society's eyes, I think I should know a few more manual skills. Sure, I changed the oil on my car once, but that was in high school. I also want to know how to stop a rabid washing machine from charging, what to do (besides panic) if water leaks into the basement (that we don't have), and how to not accidentally break a computer. And why bubbles are round.

That last one may not lead me out of awkward and into adulthood, but it might prolong the illusion.

Maybe the second awkward stage's exit door doesn't lead to adulthood. Maybe it leads to something better. I'd rather make it up as I go along than have someone tell me what adulthood is.

Who says I can't do that?

1 comment:

  1. But, you see my dear, adulthood is whatever and wherever you are right now. It is different for everyone and that is wonderful. To not be a carbon copy of another adult. Priceless.


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