Whatever you have heard, whatever conclusions you may have drawn, I feel compelled tonight to make sure you know that I am not a grown-up.
Saying such a thing is painful for two reasons.
The first (and probably the most painful) reason is that when I say it, I sound like someone in a Disney World commercial. I say that I’m not a grown-up and suddenly I see myself in one of those commercials, smiling a real cheesy smile while wearing a Donald Duck visor and a fannypack, throwing up my hands with a shrug while I whirl around in the teacups as the voiceover plays me saying, “I guess I’m just not ready to grow up, yet, Mickey!”
I think you trust that I like fun. But I am not a fan of amusement parks.
The second reason it’s painful to admit that I am not an actual grown-up person is because everyone expects me to be and I have convinced people for long enough that I can behave like a grown-up person, to bail out now would be difficult at best.
Since 2005, I have supported myself as a freelancer. Writing, performance, and quilting gigs are how I make my living. This means that I have to deal with self-employment tax and save receipts and fill out countless 1099 forms and keep track of so, so many things. When tax time comes, I think, “I can’t do this. This is very hard.” But I do it, anyway, because I am a good citizen. I’m not a grown-up, you see, but I am at least a good citizen.
But taxes are kind of like, easier, because they only happen once a year. (I used to file quarterly but I’m not making very much money right now, so I can get by doing it once in April.) What really blows me away is that I am grown-up enough to go buy groceries when I need them.
Let me ask you: Do you ever marvel at your ability to do any of the following?
- buy groceries
- pay the internet/electric/gas/phone bill/condo fee/tax man
- get to a place (any place!) on time, with your act together
- give to a charity
- get to your gate early
- cook a meal
- go on a date
- get a job, keep a job, lose a job, get another job
- complete a lot of homework
I’m telling you, sometimes I cannot believe I can do any of those things. Because I am not a grown-up. I am a kid. I am a goofy, goofy kid. I don’t know how I can feed myself, half the time. I don’t know when I learned these things. But I am surviving, somehow, and I am generally content.
I do have a good mom. But my mother is not doing my homework, you know? Sometimes, I just shake my head. Because I have no idea.