One of my first jobs out of college was working as a loan review analyst for a bank holding company. I was 23 years old and thought I knew everything about everything, but really didn’t know anything about anything. I was the youngest person on the team by at least 15 years and I spent my days trying to keep my head down and concentrating on not saying anything that would get me laughed at or my car keyed. Yes … banking can be rough.
In an effort to make conversation, after noticing the Labor poster in the break room, I casually made a comment to my 40+ year old office mate that she was protected against being discriminated against because of her age due to her being over 40. That comment was met with a prompt “FUCK YOU GINA!” and I didn’t say anything else to her for the rest of the day. At the time it felt like a slap in the face (oh the irony) and I wondered why she was being so mean to me for no reason. Now I know that at my advanced age of 41 (quickly approaching 42), I would probably feel the same way if some fresh out of college know it all felt the need to point out my age … especially if I shared the same job title and the same salary. OUCH !
My point is … wait … what was my point? Oh yeah … being a grown up and how it still doesn’t feel like I am. I remember my office mate being a grown up. She had kids and a mortgage and a mini van. She was a grown up. I have all those things (plus a whoooooole lot more debt than I’m sure she did at that age) and I don’t feel like a grown up at all. I feel like we’re playing house in some way.
Maybe it’s the nine years I lost to meds and vodka. Maybe it’s the digging out of the mess those nine years caused. Maybe it’s the choppy memory that comes back in the strangest ways, but isn’t fully restored (still don’t remember EVER owning two cars that D swears we owned).
Maybe I’m not supposed to try to fix it. Maybe everybody feels this way. We take care of our bills. We go to work. We take care of our kids. We are allowed to drink legally. So what is a grown up exactly and do we ever REALLY get there? Is it an end result and someday I’ll just waking up feeling like I’ve reached it … or is it the process of “finding myself” and my true calling in life (which can’t be done by playing games on my phone or watching Cutthroat Kitchen) … more on that later.