During a routine phone catch-up last night, my friend Amruta made the keen observation that the events of Saturday are kind of representative of where I am in my life right now: attempting to be classy and domestic and grown-up by day, but ultimately collapsing into a heap on the bathroom floor when it all gets to be too much.
Do you ever feel like that? Like you’re kind of stuck between two worlds, and just when you think you’ve chosen the one you want, the vodka grapefruits (or vodka sodas or whatever your ticket to college-age antics might be) pull you under again? I’m half-ready for that whole adult thing: I can handle waking up in the morning and doing my work and picking up produce at the market and scrubbing the dishes after dinner, most days at least. I pay my bills on time and watch oodles of HGTV and last month got abnormally excited about the teeny tiny pair of pink converse all stars I picked up for my expecting boss’ baby shower.
But I’m just not quite there yet, as much as the contents of my DVR would have you think otherwise. I still sleep away most of my Saturday mornings and occasionally eat ice cream bars for breakfast and sometimes can’t have a drink without making a fool of myself. Work still makes me cry, and I’ve been known to pout in the face of such harsh obstacles as trash day or killing a cockroach in our living room. I have no tolerance for screaming children and I’m far too paranoid about my waistline to have some alien being residing inside of it. (Related case in the ‘I’m super immature’ point: I still think of being pregnant as having an alien being residing inside my waistline.)
I think that, because of all this in-between-ness, sometimes I feel a little lost. In my previous life, as that moody teenager and then that borderline-alcoholic college student, there were clear rules and goals and steps to follow. Yes, I was a mess, but I had structure and a path laid out before me and while I was oftentimes stressed, I was never scared. I knew what my purpose was: to get good grades and get into a good college and then get good grades again and then, well, I would figure it out.
But I’m here now, and it doesn’t feel figured out at all. It feels…unsettled, and unsettling. It’s just me, and my entry-level job and my wanderlust and my rented fourth floor walk-up with bad heat in the winter and cockroaches in the summer and not even a real home, just a city that’s flagged as my current location on Facebook, and probably not for more than two years at that. No sense of purpose included.
I’ve self-diagnosed this state of flux as a symptom of my age, of stepping off the 17-year-long education system treadmill and stepping out on my own. And, in five or ten years, I think I’ll have a better chance at re-capturing that same old feeling again, that sense of knowing where I want to go and how to get there. There will be a clear road to follow, whether it involves breastfeeding (ew) or writing my heart out or a combination of both. I’ll have a purpose. And I know I’ll look back on this time in my life, my mid-twenties, and be all, bitch, what were you thinking? Do you know what I would give to wear size 4 jeans and get 8 straight hours of sleep and not have to cook a balanced meal for 5 right now?
Which is why I’m letting my totally clueless, sometimes embarrassing, purpose-less self eat nothing but nachos and crumb cake (straight from the fridge, with a fork) for dinner tonight. Because I totally still can. And at least I have that.