Do you remember those moments as a kid?
The moments where you were ordered to do something, and everything in you rebelled? The moments where you thought ‘Just you wait till I’m all grown-up. I’ll do whatever I want. Whenever I want to. And no one will stop me.’
I used to have them all the time.
Wanting to be older, bigger or better.
Wishing to be ahead in life instead of exactly where I was at.
And when I had these thoughts well…my ‘wish age‘ usually coincided with some of the bigger milestones of life (like ‘I wanna be 18 so I can have a boyfriend and go out for drinks and party and….’). But everything pretty much always revolved about wanting to be grown-up enough to decide my own fate. I (and all those other kids like me) just never had any clue as to the existence of taxes. Or the horrors of grocery shopping. No knowledge of peer pressure and career consequences. No idea about earning money and saving for houses.
These days – I AM grown up enough to be the boss of me.
But most days, it turns out….I’m a sucky boss (in terms of my childhood wishes).
I still don’t do what I want to do, whenever I want to do it. Mostly because my ‘wants‘ are still pretty much befitting of the rebellious child that wished she had the control. I want to eat all the unhealthy things. Stay up too late. Spend too much money. See all the wrong people. And then bossy me steps in and holds me back. -cough-Bitch-cough-. I’m often way too judgy for my liking, Way too strict. Way too play-it-safe and way too uptight.
The conversations we used to have with our parents that drove us mad, I now hold with myself. Or the comments made by our trainers, teacher or anyone else that held some authority over us….are now the ones I throw to me. And frankly, I could be a lot nicer to myself if you ask me.
‘No, you’re not having another serving of pasta. If you stop eating now you’ll have enough left for dinner tomorrow and…you know…not get as fat.’
‘No, you can’t just meet up with that dude at random. You have to get to know him a bit first. Find out if he’s a serial killer. You can’t just go out being slutty. Keep it classy you ditz. Take it slow.’
‘No. Wine and Ben and Jerries isn’t dinner. You gotta go to the store like a normal person. And take the car through the carwash on the way there. Oh, and if you’re up and out anyway – take out the trash.’
‘We’re definitely NOT watching Burlesque for the 32nd time. It’s 11 on a weekday. Get to bed, you have work in the morning.’
Whatever happened to my ideal views on being grown-up?
Building pillow forts and just gaming all day. Ordering pizza and eating it for breakfast. Drinking sugary drinks. Starting dinner with dessert and throwing balls indoors. Going wherever I want to. Not asking permission to have people over and staying up till way past any normal hour and then dancing in the rain.
They died somewhere during the birth of responsibility, and ambition and perished at the hands of those dreaded norms and values, combined with the fear of being judged by others. We are our own harshest critics. Or well, at least I am – there might be grown-ups currently holed up in their pillow-forts laughing their asses off at my need to go soak in a tub so I can be in bed by 10.
The thing is though – parents and teachers and mentors and whatevers….they know when to be lenient (usually). They know that (every now and then) they have to give in to some of the silly demands just to avoid total rebellion. They know that with great power comes great responsibility, but that responsibility needs an outlet for it not to become a burden. Or at least – looking back – I think they knew.
I haven’t really learned to be nice to myself like that, yet. Yes, I have these moments where I go all out and do the things I want to do.
But then I chastise myself. I talk myself into that corner – punish myself for giving in.
I go stern mom mode, with chancleta in hand and the over the top ‘GO TO YOUR ROOM AND DON’T COME DOWN BEFORE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID WRONG AND ARE READY TO APOLOGIZE.’
I have to be all perfection all the time when it comes to bossy me.
Wanting to drop the ball and just kick it around every now and then has never really been an option. When I grew up – I grew the fuck up. And I forgot how to loosen the reigns enough to actually enjoy all of its perks. Forgot how to live without abandon and take what I want – without guilt, remorse and a list of chores I have to do to make up for ‘misbehaving‘.
So dya know what I did this weekend?
Everything I fucking wanted. Regardless of what I SHOULD have been doing.
I ate ALL of the bad things. I played video games for 8 hours straight. I stayed up later than I should have, with people that I shouldn’t be seeing, drinking more wine than should be drank. And it. Was. Amazing. And I will NOT listen to that bossy voice telling me how bad that was for whatever reasons I’ll come up with.
Because no matter how perfect we can, want to and should be – we all need to just be a kid sometimes, too. Life’s too short to be all grown-up all the time.