Adult-Child

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 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 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.

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.

I think that the current COVID-19 pandemic and the external state of unrest afflicting our nation has made me aware that our choices are shaped by the past and by the present. I hope that, in choosing to prioritize and explore the things that enliven my soul, I am being a grown-up while also attending to the perpetual child within. Or maybe I’m a child in a world full of petulant adults. I haven’t figured it out yet. And maybe I never will. And maybe I don’t need to.

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