Growing Up

Life Through the Lens of a Big Kid


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I'm A Big Kid Now. Kinda.

In a few days I am having the 24th birthday. While feelings of adulthood and homemaking are starting to settle into the minds of “regular” twenty-four year olds, if you’re wondering how I feel…I’m terrified. Don’t get me wrong, the last twenty-four years have been GREAT and if I had to make projection of the future based on current events, I’d say I am in for at least a couple good more. But what is concerning me most about this milestone (well…not really a milestone) birthday is that I still don’t feel grown up.

Over the last week I have been staying in my parent’s home and nothing makes me feel more like an adolescent again than when my parent’s are making comments on the amount of clothing currently spread across the bedroom floor or the general lack of alarms I’ve been setting in the morning. In this last week I have also spent countless hours binge watching NBC’s Community as if I am not a full time student preparing graduate school applications while looking for work to cover rent.

Looking back, as a teenager I always had these dreams of being the “independent - big city” type of guy. I envisioned myself walking down a busy street in a corporate district on an early winter morning, briefcase in one hand coffee in the other and headed to my six figure 9-to-7 (I was devoted) job. Now besides the fact that I am currently studying fine art and not necessarily headed in the corporate direction, it honestly could still happen. But I don’t see myself as that guy. Current actions prove that I still act very much like a kid, but the truth is, I’m not. I’m not a kid anymore. And although having my mother make me grilled cheese (this actually happened) and offer to do my laundry (…still waiting for this one) makes me feel like a teenager again, it’s just not reality.

So where is the balance? How do I, or we, as people who are constantly “growing up” live up to the expectations of our age and where we should be in life? To be honest I don’t think there is one specific answer but I do think that there are things we can think about and reflect that might help us keep a balance that neither judges nor excuses.

How I Learned to Stop Shaving (book excerpt)

On Mike Dariano

I run with a certain crowd, those with nice looking hair, cars sporting window stickers, and athletic pants that would imply a lot of athleticism. I don’t think this is the case. It’s not that the stay-at-home mothers that I see aren’t fit, they mostly are. It’s that I never hear them talking about yoga. They talk about their haircuts, the things those car stickers represent, and the rainforest that sacrificed itself to provide paper for Friday crafts at school.

We talk about making dinner, doing chores, and what’s new at the public library or YMCA, but even in those conversations we never talk about yoga. I like yoga, I could imagine myself getting into yoga. After all this non-talk about yoga, I realized that yoga pants aren’t about doing yoga as much as they are about wearing pants.

One of the perks of being a stay at home parent is the uniform. If I wear jeans and anything buttoned I feel formal. Polo shirts and Levi’s are too fancy. It may not make sense, but for a long time I resisted this. I used to dress up when going to toddler story time at the library or taking my kids to the grocery store. I didn’t want to accept what yoga pants represented, whatever that was.

I thought wearing yoga pants was basically like wearing pajamas. The only difference being a bit of elastic material and a few less oatmeals stains. I was wrong because deep down inside, I wanted yoga pants.

I didn’t actually want yoga pants, but I wanted what they represented. A cool, casual, comfortable way to be good looking. If anyone asked about my yoga I could say, “I’m not yogaing today, I had a big yogi session yesterday.”

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