Knee-Deep in all the Adult-ness
Yesterday, I attended my traditional, Thursday evening pre-Concert Band dinner with my dear friend and fellow blogger, Jeremy. I was really excited, because Jeremy is not only my dear friend and fellow blogger, but he’s also one of my favorite people on Planet Earth, so dinner with him is always extremely delightful. When I showed up, though, Jeremy seemed kind of glum. So between bites of macaroni and cheese (such a comfort food, how could I possibly resist?) I began to inquire as to why he seemed so down in the dumps.
I won’t get into the nitty gritty details, because that would be a little rude of me, and also, you can read all about it right here. What I took away from the conversation, though, is that the cruel mistress that is Impending Adulthood has hit Jeremy over the head with a frying pan, and he’s been knocked backwards onto the floor.
All of this sparked a moment of overwhelming, mind-blowing, holy-goodness-what-am-I-doing-with-my-life-I-am-so-old moment. It seemed like not too long ago, I was walking through the doors of my high school for the first time, and now, I’m eating dinner with friends who are starting to think seriously about the next chapter of their lives. And it all seems so terrifying and so sudden and so much.
Suddenly, I couldn’t stop thinking about where I was, how far I had to go, and how many things were looming ahead of me. I thought about where I was this time last year, working on registering Clarkies to vote and recovering from Hurricane Sandy, or even two years ago, pouring over college applications and AP test study guides. I thought about all the things that I had to do tomorrow, a week from now, a month from now, and even twelve months from now. One day, I’ll be a junior, filling out forms for a study abroad program. Eventually, I’ll walk away from Clark with a degree. And then I’ll have to leave college and be an adult. A real adult. A real adult with a job and bills and responsibilities and things like that.
And that’s scary. It’s so scary. Partially because all of that appears to seem super difficult, and also because there’s so much mystery about it all. Sure, I know the framework, the general idea of what my life will kind of look like, maybe, but there’s so much wiggle room in there for things to go wrong, and for tragedy, and for huge, embarrassing mistakes.
But at the same time, I know it isn’t going to be as scary as I think it’s going to be. Things like this sneak up on you, and are always a lot less difficult than they seem. For example, in the last calendar week, I signed a lease, took the first step to declaring my major, and did a lot of things I’m irrationally terrified of, such as calling customer service numbers and emailing professors. And you know what? None of it was as terrifying as I thought it would be.
So maybe, from a distance, being an adult is terrifying. But in reality, once you’re actually there, knee-deep in all the adult-ness, it really doesn’t seem that bad.