I am an adult--but I hate calling myself that. I never really thought about why. I am not a child, I outgrew girl many years ago. My sister pointed out that when we are 18 we’re more than happy to call ourselves an adult. And we were babies then. Little babies! I'm happy to be called a woman, or a lady--never madam though, this is offense when someone is under the age of sixty (and they also might take offense—actually it’s best avoid that word altogether). Girl and madam. Never use. One is patronising the other says you think I will never have sex again as I am your great aunt.
It's not that I think I'm immature or irresponsible. My dog is still alive, fed, and happy. I am the assistant manager of a wine bar and I don't even drink all the wine. Not even all of it.
I've thought about it, the reason that adult becomes a scary word is that, I've always thought maybe, by the time I was an adult, I'd have my shit together. This doesn’t mean I want to become more serious. That’s not being an adult. I don’t want the only way for me to run free is under the mask of being drunk. I want to be silly and audacious while being an adult.
I set myself the task of writing this and after a moment of hesitation I reached for the bottle of Gruner Veltliner. I then thought that exercise simulates the mind more that a depressant and took my dog for a walk—see! Adulting already. It was late, but because I just moved to a new area I felt safe. It’s well lit, inner city Melbourne. There is such a wonderful freedom of enjoying the night without the fear of the shadows. I power-walked around the park listening to movie soundtracks (the best motivational music out there). I came across the exercise bar and it struck me how much I used to love the monkey bars when I was a kid. I remember playing on them for hours. Swing up and around, holstering yourself to the top and making fun of all the people still on the bark. I tried to do a chin up. The ‘adult version’ of the monkey bars--being an adult sucks.
I wish I didn’t have to turn thirty and I could just turn into my dog instead. I call her trouble crossed with happiness. Doesn’t that sound like the best thing to be? When she first gets off the lead she shoots away. She is so fast. It’s amazing when we’re at the park. It’s terrifying when we’re on the road. We sit at every road when she’s on the lead and still she has no conception of how dangerous they are. At the park, she flies. She is so happy. And if you relax and smile and watch her, you’ll be so happy too. There’s even childish glee that comes into your life. This is my version of being an adult; knowing when to be a kid again. In the middle of the park there’s a lamppost, it calls to you in the dark. The light falls in a strange and different way. Slowly the snow starts to fall, Mr Tumnes steps into the light and invites you for tea.
It this chasm between being an adult and a child. I feel like I am trying I navigate the journey but somehow I got turned around and ended up on the wrong continent. Don’t even know which continent it is, it’s just so wrong. Now I have to channel Gertude Caroline Elderle and start swimming until I recognise the world around me, and myself.
I went back home a few weeks ago and watched how Geelong has changed. The nightlife was no longer just drunk teenagers being peeled off the streets and smooshed into divvy vans. There are now wine bars and prohibition themed cocktail bars. I am not against this form gentrification. That said, obviously I had the most meaningful moment when I was at a club called Lambys. If you are not known in the G’town, Lambys is a club situated below a wool museum, hence the witty and clever name, Lambys. So there, while I was drunk enough to have my first (and let’s say, last) watermelon cruiser, I was complaining about who I should invite to my birthday drinks. I was playing the pros and cons of repetitive overthinking, when my friend asked me if I knew what I wanted. I should also add that she too had been inebriated enough to partake in the watermelon cruiser, so the question was more phrased as an intense integration by a renegade cop than a a request.
But it stuck with me. What did I want? It stuck for many reasons. The next day I had woken up, fully clothed, wearing a scarf that I don’t remember putting on. I discovered my shoes in the lounge room slash apparently d-floor from the previous night. I pieced together that we had left the club to make our own more sophisticated party, I had entered the house kicked off my shoes, my friend had put the tunes on, I had become cold so thought that the best solution was to put a scarf on and then, of course, immediately had passed out. This took me some time to recall. When I first woken up, in my head we were dancing to a terrible cover band while a 22 yr old had a crack at me and then, next minute, I was wearing a scarf in bed. I definitely had my life together.
The words swam in my mind: what did I want?
I have always wanted to be a writer, but never felt like I really had the discipline or the wisdom to be one. I am starting this blog to help with my disciple and to show myself that being a writer is just writing. I have a voice. It doesn’t have to be wise. It won’t always be. But I do have something to say and something to teach. For example, I can teach you the perils of overthinking. What is not known about the burden of overthinking is that after thinking too much, you become disorientated and frustrated which can lead to the conclusion that there are no good options so therefore you might as well do something completely ridiculous because at least it will be hilarious and at least you will have a few stories to tell. This never ends well for me, but you have to laugh-otherwise you might be crying.
This is the place where I will tell you a few things about my thoughts as I actively work on achieving my goal of becoming a writer, finally, so when I turn thirty in 352 days, I can say, at the age of thirty, I am now, officially, an adult*.
*an adult doesn’t mean that I have everything figured out. I define it as someone that understands what they want and tries to achieve this even though they might self-sabotage or be completely shit at it.