I figured this out a long time ago, but I think it’s about time I write about it. Somewhere along the line, I stopped maturing. I’m not talking about physically: I’ve been 5’3.5” since like 7th grade, and then started gaining weight to reach the approx. 127lbs I am today by junior year of high school (no, I don’t mind admitting my weight; I’m not proud of it, but it is what it is). I was offered a kid’s menu at Allentown Brew Works last month. And I think, as people started assuming I was younger, I started to convince myself I was, too.
It’s not that I didn’t WANT to grow up- for a while there, I was so ready to just graduate high school and go to college. Once I did, I think it started to sink in that I was actually an adult (even though I’d been one legally for a year). Which was when I started developing Peter Pan-syndrome. It was minimally invasive, and I didn’t really notice it until my friends pointed it out to me. I was always mature for my age, and felt above all of the gossiping and girl drama that was high school. At Temple though, I found myself immersed in it, and eventually, it turned on me.
My writing, once admired by adults, now seemed mediocre. Even as I write this, I wonder where my voice has gone. Did I really get worse? Or did I just reach a standstill? I find myself talking with my 16-year-old sister as though she’s my own age, and last week she called ME immature for obsessing over a guy. After I went to my room and cried, I thought about what she’d said. She was right: I’m 21 years old, and this isn’t how I’m supposed to be reacting.
So what actually happened? I think I just went into denial. Maybe I still am. In some ways, I’m very capable: I can live on my own, pay bills, go to school, go to work, drive myself, vote, drink, etc. But what about emotionally? I like having my mom to come home to, to do my laundry and cook for me (both of which I managed to do just fine on my own during the school year). I fall hard for guys upon meeting them- lust at first sight, perhaps. And I’ve had sex- only with 2 past boyfriends who I’ve felt very comfortable with. I don’t think I have the emotional maturity (not to mention confidence) to just hook-up with random guys (unless intoxicated, but that’s another story). I know how to handle my booze fairly well, but the next day I find myself thinking, “Why did I do this? I drank more than I should, and now I feel bad.”
I know everyone thinks these kind of things from time to time, and it’s just part of growing up, but I really think that I need a jolt. I feel like I’m 18, not 21, and as much as I enjoyed being a teen, I need to accept the fact that I have grown up, and get on with it. And learn to accept that, though I may still like things that are a little younger than me (TV shows, magazines, books, etc.), those are to be enjoyed in moderation, while exploring more age-appropriate options.
Okay, back to reading Eat Pray Love. 🙂