Thursday, November 26, 2009

Making it up as I go

When I was a girl the thing I wanted second-most was to be a grown up.

(The thing I wanted first-most was to be a warrior woman.)

I knew, in the way that kids know, that my mom made up a lot along the way. But I also knew that she had answers to everything. Even when I hated the answers, she had them. They were hers, and so they were mine. There was no arguing with her.

I wanted to be just like that, making it up as I went.

It seemed to be that adults had answers for everything. They always had the last word, the final say. Even when I made my mom lose her temper and blurt out the next thing that came to her mind, she always had something.

She never seemed confused or lost. She never had nothing to say.

My friend's parents had their routines and their structure. My teachers had their composure (except for my Spanish teacher, sophomore year, who used to turn red in the face and scream at us).

Everywhere - rules, regulations, sentence structure, paychecks, health insurance - all controlled and maintained by the grown ups.

When I got there, I also had all the answers. I held the schedule. I maintained the routine. There was nothing I didn't know. No situation to which I did not know how to respond. I made it up as I went and I knew exactly what I was doing.

Until I didn't. One day last week or ten minutes ago or five years ago I forgot how to know everything.

I have no schedule, no routine. In fact, I hate routine. I no longer know what I'm doing. Still making it up as I go, but suddenly so.terribly.unsure.

This business of being a grown up is a lot harder than it used to look. But it's Thanksgiving and I have food in the oven and I'm going to a Gwar show tomorrow, so for today I am letting it go.

And I am eternally grateful that I now know how to do so.

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