Thursday, July 12, 2012

Playing Grown Up

Sometimes I feel like I am pretending to be an adult
I don't think I have ever felt like a grown-up. I certainly don't act like an adult most of the time. I love pizza and scary movies and spending money on frivolous shit and I could live in cutoff shorts and a tee shirt. SO, I suppose, by most standards, I am NOT a responsible adult, I act like a teenage who has the house to themselves while Mom and dad are on a weekend trip. Except that I really do have bills and I have A LOT of responsibility running a business, and the money we spend is ours, not an allowance we got in an envelope for the weekend. Honestly, I'm not the best at bill paying or business stuff either - I'd rather have teeth pulled than sit down and pay bills or answer emails and crunch numbers (haha!) So what, are Doug and I less responsible than our peers? Are we a mess because we choose to live this way? When we lived in San Diego, I felt so out of place. Everyone we knew had these epic careers and it was all consuming. They would go on vacation to lay on the beach, even though we all lived on a mere hop skip and a jump from the beach. Does wearing business clothes, making bank and yelling "buy sell buy sell" into a blackberry define adulthood? Do people even still have blackberry's? Does having lunch dates and putting half a paycheck into savings make us more grown up? I wonder about these things and the path that we have chosen. 

I'm 26, staring 27 right in the face. But I don't want to "grow up" by society standards. I love our life. We don't really play by the rules or live a typical lifestyle. Most of our friends are married and have a handful of babies. We don't want kids and we would rather do cool stuff now than save money in the bank. Truthfully, as always. But where is the line? We don't PARTY ALL THE TIME, PARTY ALL THE TIME. We work hard for the money we do make, and we prefer a life covered in tattoos and wood dust to one of brand new appliances and trips to Hawaii. I'm not knocking the life anyone else has chosen, but I am questioning how I feel about it. Sometimes I wonder if that is what I should be striving towards. Looming adulthood. Will it hit me when I'm 30, or 40, or 50. Will I still be covered in tattoos (hey man, the future is limitless) with no plans of owning a house or bearing children or retiring, for that matter. Or am I secretly striving for the American dream. Big house, nice car, white picket fence. I mean, honestly, I doubt that, but sometimes when we're at Home Depot buying supplies I find myself wandering the appliance section looking at the shiny front loading washers and the steel three door refrigerators and daydreaming about them in our house. And then I think about all the other things we could do with that $2000, and I walk away, completely satisfied. 

The really rad thing about life is that you get to be the architect of yours. You make the rules and break them when you want to. You build the foundation that your life revolves around. I like that our house (which we rent) is rickety and old. I like that we leave clothes on the floor and pick them up when we feel like it. I love working from home and wearing shorts and teeshirts and leggings and socks to work. And sometimes I wear a dress and do my hair and even wear makeup. I work the hours that I want to, and I am responsible for us. I don't compare out lives to those around us, because we all make our own choices. We aren't any less or more adult than the next person, but that doesn't stop me from feeling like I'm still playing dress up and make believe. If only the money grew on trees and didn't take staying up late for granted. 

When I was a teenager, I only dreamed about being an adult. I wanted to get out of the house. I wanted to get tattooed, and have a house (if I remember correctly) with leopard print couches, ten- thousand records and I wanted to be an elementary school art teacher with . I used to draw pictures of myself as a grown up and surprisingly, my life isn't that off from what I imagined. I guess I never really wanted to a grownup....just an older version of my teenage self. Success.  I vowed to never become my parents (at least who they were when I was in my early teens,) and I strive for a continued happiness, even when I'm having a bad day, or feeling bummed out, I know at the root of it that I am exactly who I want to be. 

Do you feel like you have become the adult you expected? What do you think defines adulthood? I am curious on other peoples thoughts on the matter. Do you feel all grown up?

xo,
Beca

26 comments:

  1. You're awesome Beca, for reals. I totally know what you mean and I feel ya...being an "adult" just doesn't seem now like all it was made out to be when I was younger. And if I get to choose between having fun and living life each day and being me over working a boring office job I know I'd hate and saving and saving and saving for a future that is anything but now and living a life that people "expect"...I'd say I'm pretty damn lucky. This is your life and having the power to choose how you live it is one of the most incredible things. There is balance between being on your own and taking care of those boring adult things like bills and grocery shopping and washing the god forsaken dishes...and staying young til you die, living now because it is where you are, and finding happiness in things that make you whole. You cannot define yourself by what you do or don't have, only by who you believe you are or are not...and you are so much more than one of those awesomely fancy front loading washing machines. xo.

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    1. I certainly agree with their being a balance and I think a part of me is afraid to be really responsible. I cant explain it exactly, but its almost as if i am act like a grown up I will not be myself anymore. Its definitely a silly fear, and has gotten me in trouble, but it's true.

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  2. OMG!!! YES!!! I haven't ever heard people describe how I feel in the same way... I don't feel grown up. I have responsibilities, and I love 'em, but I'm a big kid, carefree, and had a weird childhood where I learned *nothing*. I was home-schooled, but not taught. I don't know how to clean or organize well, am terrible with money and can't cook. So, in a way, I feel like I'm growing up all over again - just luckily with Jen and our fur and feather babies!

    She's also a big kid, so for us, lounging around with a video game, pizza and Mountain Dew or splashing in the pool and shrieking is pretty heavenly.

    Thank you so. so. much for this post, Beca!!!

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    1. You're welcome. I think it's important to know what makes you happy and not sacrifice that for anything else.

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  3. Love this post!
    Man, I am in the same boat as you. I just wanna live my life! I look back at how I was raised and the life my parents had/have...and ugh. No way. No thanks! They had kids too early, they couldnt go on any trips until we were older because we didn't have a lot of money. My mom doesn't even have a real career, just a job.
    And even though it would be smarter to go back home and live with my Mom for a few years to save money and pay off some of my debt...I don't want to. I love being 'free' I pay my bills and slowly my debt... I do what I want. I sleep in. I stay up. Get pets because I want to. Take a day off. I clean when I feel like it, not cause my mom feels like we need to all drop what we're doing and help her.
    I would never be happy with a job where I have to wear a uniform or suit to work everyday. I'll be turning 24 tomorrow. It's crazy, I feel old, but at the same time, so much can change in a year... even in 6 months. No thoughts of having kids in my head. I always say 'late 20's, early 30s. We'll see.' But man...that is so close.

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    1. I totally understand, i don't think there is anything that could get me to live at home again, unless it was to take care of my parents...but even then, that's something I don't even want to imagine. This is all a learning experience and we are becoming who we are everyday, even if that means we make mistakes and dont have enough money to pay bills because we spent it all on really cool stuff. ;)

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  4. I love this post too! And I can totally relate to this actually! I think we are programmed to think we should 'be' certain things by certain ages in our lives..I know when I turned 30 last year I kind of thought shit..I'm 30, I'm old, aren't I supposed to have the whole career, kids, house, etc like most other 30 year olds? But then I (like you) run a small handmade business, which keep me happier than a 9-5 job, and I would rather tattoos and other things, rather than fancy new apliences. I would rather rent for now so I can move if and when I like rather than being tied down to a house payment, bills are the sucky part of growing up but you have them all your life, weather you are starting out or close to the end of the ride, Just because you age doesn't mean you have to grow up at all, sure you have to act like an adult every now and then, but what exactly is "the perfect adult" we can't all be the same, and I think it's kind of awesome :)

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  5. I love you for posting this. I'm a firm believer in making your life what YOU want, regardless of what everyone else thinks life should be. Its yours! If you are happy, it really doesn't matter. I feel like the line between "grown up " and reality if blurred these days. Its like 20 years ago we were all expected at this stage in our lives to have 2 kids and a "career" but that is becoming less and less the case and having the freedom to do what you want is becoming more and more the norm.

    I'm almost 30 (yikes) and for the first time have a reasonably well paid job that I get taken seriously in, which I love. But this, for me, just means I have more money to spend on doing things I enjoy. We rent our flat, we have no plans to buy, we have no plans to procreate, we have no plans to marry. We just have plans to enjoy each day as it comes. And I think thats ok. Although, I do go through phases (normally at 7am when I'm sitting on a crowded commuter train) where I wonder why I spend my life in an office plugging away for someone else when I could be doing something I actually want to do with my life. I'm not happy doing this, but it pays the bills, and its secure, and I have to deal with that I guess.

    I feel like my life motto these days is BEING A GROWN UP IS RUBBISH. I think you should use this often and loudly. I like to shout it everytime I have to sit down and life admin. BORING.

    I'm ranting now. More coffee please.

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  6. Also you look fucking HOT in the above picture.

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    1. oh, thanks friend, you are too kind.!

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  7. Great post! Had a long reply all prepared but then couldn't think of the best way to express it all. You look awesome in that photo too!

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  8. This was a post that I could clearly relate to. I don't think I can ever see myself being an adult, primarily because of all the reasons that you said. My image of an adult has also changed over the years though; adults, in all honesty, aren't very adult like once you get to know them better.


    Great post, thought provoking read.

    Love, Miffalicious. [www.miffalicious.com]

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  9. I'm 31 and I still don't feel like a grown up. I feel like I am responsible when it comes to working and paying my bills. We own our house (or...we are paying the mortgage on our house). I too wander home depot and dream of all the nice things we could fix up our house with. But we don't have the money right now to do any of that, I feel like a little kid walking around planning their dream house that may never be a reality. We are like you guys. We could have saved $2000 to repair things around the house, but instead we took a 2 week road trip, and I'm so glad we did! That is way more memorable than a washer/dryer that will be obsolete in 5 years. We'll have that trip forever. I'd rather spend our money on sushi dates, day trips, thrift stores, and concerts than 'adult things.' I also wonder if the switch will ever flip, or if this is just how we are. Honestly, I hope we stay this way forever.

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  10. I love this and you so incredibly much. You are an incredibly human being, Beca. So glad to know you.

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  11. I get it.
    I have the car, the new house with the white picket fence, the kid, the husband with the important job (that he feels out of place at), and the new appliances. however Im also covered in tattoos, love spending savings on toys instead of actually saving, going to punk shows, not paying bills on time, dressing as if im an 18 year hardcore kid, driving a scooter instead of a real car and running an indie business. Im turning 30 next month and I still dont feel like a grown up, I feel like I dont belong in the world we placed ourselves in. I have nothing in common with my neighbors and they dont get why we do the things we do. I thought I could have both worlds, and it kinda works. Kinda. I dont think I'll ever really grow up! I thought maybe I would when I had a kid, but no, I'm still the same. I like it this way, I get to view the world in a much happier way and not be as stressed.
    So in short, growing up has nothing to do with the house, the marriage, the kids or the appliances. It has to do with whats inside, and what makes you happy!! We can be big kids forever.

    I dont know if I said it right, Im the big kid who has a hard time explaining things!!

    It was really nice to read this and know how i feel inside is how others do too.

    also I agree with Miffalicious. "Grown ups" arent actually grown up, their more immature than the rest of us.

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  12. I don't feel grownup at all. I see people and just assume they are older than me, to only find out I'm a good 3-5 years older. I'm not married, I don't have kids, I'm still in grad school. Sometimes I wonder if I'm behind, and by some people [my family], I am. But I don't feel like that. I like my life, I like the people in it, and where I am going. I can see me married, with kids and a house... but not right now. Being forever young isn't a bad thing :D

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  13. Listen. I'm 28, have a 2yo and another on the way, and I DO NOT FEEL AT ALL LIKE A GROWN UP. I have a masters degree, and have worked as a clinical art therapist for years as well. And yet: I live in purple short shorts, blue fringed moccasin high tops, tattoos, and my favored LOL i'm just kitten shirt (i know, its UH-Maze-ing). There are so many times where i'm kind of dumbfounded, and struggle with trying to deal with age and being a mom and obviously an "Adult." Now with another tot on the way, which we actually PLANNED (i mean, kind of), i'm at such a loss.
    I think this is just part of living life consciously, as opposed to just falling into the habit of living. Good luck to all of us!
    (PS: GORGEOUS photo of you!!)

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  14. Hmm...as someone who feels not grown up enough but at the same time, faced with too much real-life pain-in-the-butt grownup madness sometimes, I guess I walk the line. You're on the right track though. Don't let the world tell you what you should want. We all have these small voices that tell us what we really want. Sometimes, we just want to float through life and see what happens. Sometimes, we want to plan. What you don't want however is stainless steel appliances. If I could have all of those minutes back that I've spent trying to keep those suckers clean, I'd have enough to have a roller skating party. Trust me.

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  15. I thought having a child would make me feel grown up but it hasn't. Neither has paying the bills, planning for retirement, getting life insurance, or saving for a home. I love the idea of being the architect of your life. We have tattoos and choose handmade and second hand first, but we still live in the 'burbs because the schools are better. It took me most of my 27 years to realize that I was the only person that I need to please with my life and now its fitting me comfortably.

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  16. Damn girl, I second everyone else on the quality of your mid-90s lady songwriter promo picture!

    I have a lot of things to say about this. Like. A lot. It's one thing to feel young at heart, but it's another thing when a youthful, out-of-step lifestyle get slapped against your face (ie: asking you waitress/bartender what her "real job" is. or, looking at the blue-haired girl at the party giving her an irony soaked, "Gee. You must be a lawyer, too.")

    I very consciously live in an area where it's not unusual to be a 40 year old paper boy; a Never Never Land where you can be minimally employed, play in lots of bands, live with roommates even after you are married, and shred till death. So, seeing that my life is actually NOT the norm can be jarring and hurtful and weird. I think that I walk a nice line between youthful enthusiasm and heavy yoke of adult concerns. But it is a thin one and easily shaken.

    There are about 1,000,000 good quotes from romantic writers on this topic so, when telling myself "Fuck it, I'm an artist. I do what I want. They just can't handle how cool I am." I pull out my old school books and take Mr. Emerson for a spin:

    “My life is not an apology, but a life. It is for itself and not for a spectacle. I much prefer that it should be of a lower strain, so it be genuine and equal, than that it should be glittering and unsteady.”

    For example.

    Intuiting has always served me better than planning. I'd never have planned for this lifestyle, but I do, more often than not, enjoy it.
    Getting off Facebook helps, too.

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  17. Sometimes I feel all grown up and old...but its usually only when I'm struggling through my yucky 40-hour a week day job. Otherwise, i usually feel younger than I am and I for sure feel behind my peers at time. We don't have a ton of money, we don't own our own house...I have a kid and no will!! I have friends who have husbands who make bank and they get to stay home and be moms...with houses and shit. Sometimes it suck and I have to keep reminding myself that we are striving for own own thing and it doesn't really mean we'll ever match up.

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  18. You are such an inspiration! Man, I loooove blogging for this reason, I feel like I will come across a post (like this) that really hits home, that puts into words all of the things I've been feeling lately.

    I said to one of my girlfriends recently 'I think I'm having a mid-20s crisis' and then I reflected on that...day to day, sometimes I feel like I want the ring on my finger, the house, the kids, the 'career' SO BADLY (I'm 26 as well) and then there are days that I never want to grow up or feel 'grown up' whatever that is anyway. Sometimes I feel grown up when I'm doing my grocery shopping, sometimes I feel grown up putting money into an RSP account (I know, retirement...what? That seems so far away!) and then there are days, that like you, I love renting my home and not having the pressure of children and that responsibility...and that's where I kind of feel torn because I want the 'typical grown up life' and other days I'm perfectly content with where I am. Hence the mid-20s crisis...but I also remind myself that (most) things happen for a reason and I am in NO RUSH - Holy moly, we are so young and we have our whole lives ahead of us for grown up stuff...or not, if that's what you choose. It's our lives and our choices and no one should make us feel lesser because of those choices.

    I'm certainly glad to read that you are happy though. That is TRULY all that matters. You and Doug should be so proud of yourselves as well for accomplishing as much as you have and having such an amazing brand!! You guys are awesome together.

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  19. Growing up is hard because society tells us we have to be and live a certain way, and if we choose to be different than we won't make it in the society that we live in. That having tons of money and nice cars, and working those 30-80 hour a week jobs to go to work, sleep, start over is what it's about. LIES!!! My family gives me talks all of the time about how life should be; how should get a real job that will have insurance and health coverage. I'm sorry, i'm going to die eventually anyway. When the time comes, it comes; till then I'm going to live the best way I know how. YOUR life should be how you choose it to be. If money isn't everything, then it's not. But it honestly helps to have, and that is truth speak. I say doing what you love and making it work for you is what happiness is. Your happiness is not mine, and vice versa. I say Carpe Diem! Those savings that you may have acquired really might not matter tomorrow because you could die from an aneurism (God forbid) today.
    If I can make myself happy doing what I love, wearing what I love, loving who I love, and maybe saving a little for a rainy day then the rest matters not. Never let anyone tell you what you want isn't good enough, You are not them. You are you and that is awesome enough! :]

    This mindset is something I have to work on everyday.

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    1. Ah, mindset. It's the downfall to us fully committing to the choices we make. Just because I live like this, maybe i should question it because other people do...I get it.

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  20. I never feel grown up! I feel like my life is like that TGIF video by Katy Perry, haha. I feel that now I've graduated from Uni I should be more responsible but it seems like my life has become a little wreckless.

    I also work from home,and work in my pyjamas or tracksuit bottoms, I blow any money that I earn on food and I am the queen of procrastination *face palm* it always seems though that when you reach a stage in your life that you should be responsible, but I guess by some extent you have to conform to society, but I refuse to be the conform to the stereotypical business woman, so I just totally agree with your blog post ;)

    Katherine xo

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  21. It's funny that you mentioned you act like kid when you have the house to yourself. My bf was gone the other night so you bet you butt I had my friend come spend the night, we watched Daria, did our nails, and had some cocktails! I'll be 30 in Feb. and I just feel like I'm 20. Age is just a number and I feel better about myself knowing that I love my life even if it's not what I thought it "should" be but at least it's fun. Live happy, Live free!

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