Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Feigning Adulthood

That right there is my ability to be responsible. I won it when I was 25.

As a denizen of the Internet I've been hearing a lot of buzz about the latest entry on the Hyperbole and a Half blog. It rings true for a lot of young people, I think, in that we're finding out that being a Grown Up isn't anything like what we thought it would be. I'm not too sure what I thought that Growing Up would entail, but I definitely thought, and still cling rather naively to, that at some point I will indeed be An Adult whose life consists of doing Grown Up Things.

I've been experiencing a lot of generalized anxiety recently. Some of this stems from things with The Boy being tossed abruptly out of their tattered nest of status quo and making what feels like a reckless decision to pretend to be a City Girl. When the generalized anxiety flares up and manifests itself in an acute form I tend to deal with it very badly. Getting up and facing the day means being conscious and thinking about things, so I compromise by staying in bed and brooding instead. The knot in my stomach makes it nearly impossible to eat, and thanks to the scale in my bathroom I know that two weeks ago during an acute flare up I lost 4 pounds in three days from sheer stress.

Now I've gained it all back, don't worry yourself Interested Party. The acute knot of anxiety eventually diffused into a more generalized nervous tingle throughout my body. This sort of general anxiety is handled much, much better than the Acute Onset Emotions. Somehow my body hardwired itself over the last few years to develop the natural coping mechanism of "getting my life in order" when I get stressed out.
Much like the above linked blog post (did you click it? You should have, and if you didn't here's another chance) I will go into a frenzy of doing adult-like things in order to make some semblance of order out of the chaos I feel has infused my life. I deposit my money wads into the back with more regularity. I shower more frequently and even shave my legs. I make my bed in the morning and remember to brush my teeth immediately after getting up. I make sure the kitchen is free of unsightly dirty dishes and crumbs. I do laundry and actually fold and put it away. I read books I've meant to catch up on. I re-hang the posters in my room that have fallen down. I vacuum. I make important phone calls and schedule lunch dates with friends I've neglected (because lunch dates are far more mature and Grown Up than spontaneous bar outings). I splurge on a latte from Starbucks. I make it to the gym once or twice. I go grocery shopping and buy things other than peanut butter and salad dressing.

I suppose you can't fault me for performing healthy tasks in the face of less than healthy anxiety, but I do hate that it takes extreme discomfort on an emotional level to kick me into Being a Grown Up.

Seester and I will be moving in together in a month and I have grand notions that living with her will up my Adult Behavior quota. She, for example, personalized the condo she'd only be in for 3 months within the first day or so, which included lugging almost every book she owns up three flights of stairs. I on the other hand didn't even put posters up in my room until 9 months had passed. I'm really hoping that her innate skill at living like an Adult will rub off on me.

Who am I kidding. It's likely that after a week or two she'll be yelling at me for leaving dirty dishes in the sink and my socks on the living room floor. But who knows, making such a huge change in my life might knock some tidiness into me.


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