Is it emotionally stunted of me not to want to do anything I don’t want to do? A part of me thinks that I am basically one step above a petulant child (a small step, if that) because there are many facets of adult life that I simply refuse to accept as part of my reality. For example, I don’t do housework. I pay other people to do all of my cleaning and, truth be told, most of my cooking.
I throw shit away. Shit that I really should hold onto (like bank statements and insurance forms and paid bill receipts) because I refuse to file. The trash can can count as a filing cabinet, right? I am careless about my carbon footprint, stay up past my bedtime, wear sandals well into the winter, eat in front of the TV and refuse to participate in anything approaching corporate culture. I don’t even own an iron and I do my best not to wear anything that requires dry cleaning.
So, yeah, I have yet to grow up.
But then I have this other side of me that is intensely responsible and productive, the side that has churned out over twenty books. The side that’s overcome an eating disorder, that works out 5-6 days a week, pays her bills, does her laundry, gets to appointments on time (or early), maintains healthy friendships and relationships and is a source of support for a number of people, all of whom I love and who love me.
So why the dichotomy? How can I – a podcast-listening, yoga-loving, prolific writer who refuses to cook or scrub a toilet or hold down a nine-to-five and who starts hobbies only to immediately quit them – reconcile these disparate aspects of myself?
I like to say that I’m perpetually frozen in my teens – where responsibility and rebellion collide. But I’m beginning to discover that most of us aren’t completely grown up. There are corporate CEOs who struggle to put down the donuts and exercise fanatics with no ambitions beyond the gym. No one has it all figured out.
One of my obsessions is listening to Audiobooks while walking (consummate multi-tasker, one check in the adulthood box). I do this after driving to Kelly Drive early in the morning and peeing in a cup in my car because, even though I peed before I left the house, my bladder is the size of a walnut (one check, for number one, in the kiddie column). Anyway, I finished listening to Charles Duhig’s The Power of Habit and, of course, immediately began Smarter Faster Better. While the first book is a study of what we do and how we do it, this second book is all about why we do the things we do and how motivation shapes our choices.
So far, my takeaway is that I will do absolutely anything and everything it takes to pursue and explore my creative passions and, if I can see how something fits into that drive to fulfill my life’s purpose, well, then, I’ll do that. But the rest? I say “Take that, world, and shove it,” because, in the wonderful words of Bebe Rexha, “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up.”
Unsurprisingly, I listen to this song while car dancing and singing at the top of my lungs, with the windows down, because I refuse to conform to road rules as well as life rules.