I keep waiting and waiting for some sort of self actualization where I transform into a confident adult. I remember as a kid always looking up to my parents, my aunts, uncles, grandparents and thinking “these people know everything!” Whenever adults told me something, they said it with some authority that I rarely questioned. They just sounded so confident. Especially my aunts. Everything that came out of their mouths was like gospel to me. These were strong powerful women who knew everything.
I’m 30 now and I’m still waiting for that “AH-HA!” moment of all the pieces clicking together. I know physically I’m an adult but mentally I still have all the insecurities and doubts I had as a teenager. This wasn’t part of the deal! Now I look back on all those moments as a child with my parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and wonder…. where they faking it as well? Do they even feel like adults now? What does feeling like an adult entail?
I started wondering these things on our last day of holidays in the Finger Lakes. The night before, Gillian and George had gone out to dinner and we (Pat, Marty, Chris and I) took care of Josie for the evening and Josie was a gem! She listened to everything we said, didn’t question anything, was super cooperative. I remember thinking “wow, maybe having a second kid wouldn’t be so hard” and I told Gillian this the next morning and she told me “Well of course Josie was good for you, you’re the cool aunt” and that’s when it hit me. I’m an adult. I’m an aunt. Not only an aunt, but a cool one, that’s a lot of responsibility! How did Josie not pick up on the self doubt in my voice when I said “why don’t we try going on the potty?” All the while thinking “I’m cool! I’m cool!” (which of course automatically cancels out the coolness but whatever).
So I guess now, the trick to being an adult is to fake it like you have it all together and you’ll be rewarded by a niece or nephew who thinks your cool. Even better, your kids might think you’re cool as well.