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September 26, 2008

grown-up kid

yesterday T.T. and i celebrated our wedding anniversary. it was a little rushed -- i've been working pretty steadily on another show, so after wrapping, i rushed home and did my Hadashi's Lightning Makeover, in which i go from being tech girl in show blacks and boots to being a fabulous young thing going out on a hot date with her splendid husband. we had a lovely dinner out, and enjoyed the summery-feeling night (we must take advantage of our SoCal weather, after all), lingering over our meal and catching up with each other...until about 10pm. honestly, we were just too sleepy to stay out any longer. later, as i brushed my teeth, i thought: wow, i'm ending my Big Night Out at 10pm, celebrating a Wedding Anniversary (not a dating one), planning when to do laundry tomorrow, and taking the WaMu collapse rather seriously. how adult! how old!
but looking in the mirror, i still saw a girl staring back at me, toothpaste foam and all. she seemed pretty mischevous -- too much so to be a "woman" -- and clearly was enjoying the discomfiture of her own brain. how could i be simlutaneously a responsible adult and a crazy kid? how am i someone's wife, have a long and satisfying career, and be a responsible grown-up, but still feel, deep down inside, like a barefoot little girl who's just happy to be outside in the sunshine?
recently, i came across a list in a women's magazine titled "you know you're a grown-up when...". i was vaguely horrified to discover, that according to this random collection of criteria, that i was most definitely a grown-up. "you retire your short-shorts, even though you've got great legs, if you do say so yourself." uh, check. "you pass up the cheese fries with the ranch dressing not because they're fattening, but because they're not good for you." check. "the idea of staying in is just as appealing as the idea of going out." well, now that i live with that hottie boyfriend of mine, sure. "it is completely impossible for you to ignore a sink full of dirty dishes." double-check. "rocking out along with the radio no longer embarrasses you. in fact, you turn it up." hey, yeah, check! this one is when it all made more sense: being a grown-up doesn't necessarily mean being boring or having no fun. maybe it's that you're old enough to have the confidence to be who you are without apologising so much for it. and understanding that practicality and joie de vivre are not mutually exclusive.
sure, this is not an earth-shakingly new discovery or a deep new philosophy -- it's something i've suspected for a long time. but somehow, there in the bathroom with a toothbrush in my mouth, it kind of crystallised for me: being a grown-up isn't necessarily a bad thing, as long as i don't lose the girl inside me. as author Ursula K. LeGuin has said, "the creative adult is the child who has survived. " maybe being an adult really just means knowing when to throw some pragmatism into the mix so you can live to play another day.
anyway, i'm still trying to figure this all out, but not too hard. besides, i have a sink full of dirty dishes to deal with -- but i'm going to crank the music and sing along at the top of my lungs while i do them.

Posted by hadashi at September 26, 2008 5:01 PM


Ah, yew are such the bloggerific blogger. Yew should publish this one...too bad that the deadline for an essay ON THIS VERY TOPIC (Real Simple) just passed the other week!!!! Arg! We need to start working on publishing yew!!!

Posted by: ernli Author Profile Page at September 19, 2009 12:12 AM

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