Sunday, March 30, 2014

On my identity as an adult.

Try as I might, I still can't take myself seriously enough to see myself as an adult.

Even now standing at a quarter of a century (not old to most points of view, but still an adult age) I don't really feel significantly different from my younger self. I may have taken some strides in intellect and maturity, but there really seems to be no fundamental difference.

I also see this in others, too. I recently had lunch with a 40-year-old couple and felt no real age gap between them and I...and I don't think it's because I'm older, I think it's because the differences I felt years ago were all imagined. Adults think in many ways alike to younger people. Frustration, insecurity, uncertainty...they all exist for us now as they did when we were younger. It was just hidden from us.

Still, though, I think what sets me apart is that I am unwilling or unable to avoid acknowledging this. While I find it easier to relate to older adults now, I've not ceased relating to teenagers. I think I would be hard-pressed to find an adult who said they could understand a teenager - or would admit it.

I embrace it. For the most part and for most of the time I like who I am. And what I am is not what someone would think of as a very adult persona. I am still wild, still absurd, still maudlin, irresponsible, and capricious; I am outgoing, energetic, and passionate; playful, creative, fun.

And strangely, I am successful. At least, I am successful compared to most of my generation. I have a job with a lot of demands. I am paid a modest wage and I take care of myself (for the most part). I have a purpose that I have embraced.

And yet, I really don't feel like I fit into any particular category.  Am I an adult? By most definitions, yes...but I'm not adult. Am I a teenager? By most definitions, no. But in some ways I am teenaged.

And it's times like this when I wish someone would come along and want to understand me.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream for identity.

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