If there are two things I’ve learnt from crossing the threshold into adulthood, they are:
1. That no one is ever quite sure what they’re doing with this life thing and
2. That no one is ever quite sure whether or not they’re doing it right.
Certainly some people are closer to their median of happiness than others – it’s an imperfect world – but for the most part we’re all plodding along in the vicinity of fair-to-middling.
And there’s nothing wrong with that! The only problem is our unrealistic expectations of being an adult. I remember thinking as a much younger Robyn that when I grew up, I’d have it all figured out (and I’d be a wildly successful journalist). Now I’m ‘grown up’ and I am no closer to figuring ANYTHING out than I was at that age. My priorities have changed, sure, and I’m a lot less prone to teenage angst but I haven’t yet achieved the kind of self-assured calm I always assumed came with the territory of grown-upness. Which made me wonder what ‘grown up’ even means.
And this is what I think:
Growing up means exercising our power to change the world, one gut-wrenching mistake and one amazing success at a time. It includes exercising the ability to adapt to the consequences of our actions and inaction.
That sounds kinda mature, I guess. It sounds hard. And it sounds like something you keep doing for a really long time. I suppose I can get rid of the idea that we cross some kind of kiddy finish line one day and get our Grown Up Medal. This isn’t like graduating to training diapers. There is a process at work here and we’re all at different stages.
So there is always room for growth.