Twisty Thursday: Philosophical Musings, Vol. 4

I think there's a diagnosis for this in the DSM, but I refuse treatment

Sometimes I think about all the stuff I wish I’d known about being an adult, before I became one.   Because I would have stayed a kid, where I belong.

Of course, Mother Nature had other plans.  Damn her.

So today’s Twisty Thursday is all about sharing some of the wisdom you and I have earned, through trial, tribulation, and trying to figure out how to be a grown-up. For goodness’ sake, I’m 31 years old…I should have this stuff figured out already, right?

But I don’t.

Every so often, I see a book or an article with “letters to my younger self.”  You know, the stuff you wish you’d known.  Well, I’d like to do something similar, except for my friends.  The grown up ones.  Because there’s no sense in wasting perfectly good wisdom on the young.  They don’t listen anyway.

So here you’ll find a few little tidbits of knowledge and whatnot for my adult peers, because there is plenty that we can still teach one another and loads of good stuff we can share.  Perhaps we can help each other to avoid some of life’s pitfalls and misunderstandings.

“Philosophy” literally translates to “love of wisdom.”  And I do.  I love wisdom; love to learn and share (what little I might have) and gather more.  In doing so, I wanted to post a few goodies I wish I’d understood about adulthood a lot sooner, but I had to learn the hard way.  Please, post your responses or additions to my list.  I know there will be plenty.  Perhaps, together, we can figure it all out (riiiight).

Stuff I Didn’t Know About Being A Grown-Up (Until I figured it out the hard way)

  • You never really feel like a grown up. Seriously.  What. The. HECK?!  I’m not going to lie; I’ve never really felt like a grown up.  I still feel confused about a lot of things and ignorant of others.  I know that I am a grown up, but wonder when I will actually feel like one.  I still feel as if I am the student and wonder if I should or will ever be the teacher.  I’ve asked around, and gotten a similar answer from friends and family.  It’s true.  You never actually do feel like a grown up, regardless of whether or not you hold the title.
  • It’s harder than I thought it would be. A lot harder.  I might not feel like a grown up all the time, but boy do I feel like I’m dressed up in grown up clothes, doing grown up things.  When we’re kids, we can’t wait to grow up…because we’ll get to do whatever we want!!! But the truth is, having choices and responsibilities and stuff is really hard!
  • There’s not enough time in the day or money in the bank to do all the

    Understatement of the Century

    things I want to do. Ever.  I find that I really wish for three more hours, or three more hands, or less need for sleep (but, damn it, I really like sleep!).  What I wouldn’t give to go back to the simple days of childhood, where all my decisions were made for me and bedtime was at 9pm.

  • The freedom of adulthood comes with a cost:  Your sanity. Because you aren’t allowed to say “I wish I’d never had kids,” or “I should have chosen differently.”  It’s just not done.  So you have to soldier through and pretend that you’re perfectly happy with your circumstances, even if you’re not.  Because, gods forbid that you might screw your kids up more than you already might have.  Luckily, you might be able to screw them up to the point that you actually like having them around.  Heheheheh….
  • Societal Expectations are Bullshit. When I was growing up, I thought everything in life was supposed to happen in order.  You grow up happy, go to high school, learn to drive, have your first romance, go to prom, graduate, go to college, find your dream job, get married, buy a house, and have 2.5 kids, a white

    Whoa. That's deep, man. Heh.

    picket fence, a dog and a cat.  That’s how it goes, right?  Ha.  No.  But that’s the life we’re brainwashed into thinking we ought to have.  When it gets derailed, we are confused and have to completely rebuild our expectations.  How easy this might be hinges on our own ability to cope with change.  Some obviously have an easier time than others.

So, now it’s your turn, dear lurkers.  I hope to hear from you.  What have you learned as “grown ups” that you’ll share with me?

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About DrPretzel

Student of philosophy and medicine, mother of 2 Creatures of Mass Destruction (a.k.a. "boys"), Soldier, sister, daughter, friend, cat person, social inept, INTJ, blah, blah, blah...are you even reading this?
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8 Responses to Twisty Thursday: Philosophical Musings, Vol. 4

  1. Charisse says:

    Aw, Aaron, I didn’t mean anyone like you. I’m talking about 15-18 y/o kids. I just think our culture doesn’t foster real relationships very well, and kids think that the only intimate relationships are physical relationships and that these are the only way to satisfy their ‘loneliness.’ That’s all.

    • drpretzel says:

      Crap, Charisse…there are plenty of adults with this mindset as well. I was one well into my twenties. I think this mindset is the catalyst for the term “starter marriage!” 😉

  2. Majeh85 says:

    I learned not to wish for anything. You never really appreciate the things that are handed to you. I’ve had things handed to me for a good portion of my life, at costs greater than just not learning to appreciate some things. I would have much preferred to work for the things I got and been motivated, as a child, to work for more.
    I learned to never wish to go back and change anything. Sure I have regrets. If I were to try and count them there might only just be enough fingers and toes in the state of Missouri to do so. But I’ve learned from my mistakes, still learning, and regrets, to never repeat them and try to keep doing better. Plus, if I went back and changed anything where and when would I have learned the lessons that I learned? there’s no guarantee that I would have learned them or to the extent that I have, and I wouldn’t be who I am today.
    I learned being alone sucks, and it sucks hard. I spent a good portion of time telling everyone to leave me alone, and they did. Now it’s hard coping otherwise. In disagreement with Charisse, it’s not necessarily that being with someone is the key to being happy, but being able to share it with someone. There are only so many things you can truly enjoy and appreciate by yourself, the rest is nice but having someone else there is what would make it significant.
    That’s not all I learned but those are the highlights for me, personally.

    • drpretzel says:

      This is a great post. I love the entire premise. It reminds me of a lecture I once heard and the balance one ought to keep between focusing on the past, present, and future. Very good stuff!

  3. Charisse says:

    Failing doesn’t make you a failure.
    Trust me, I should know. I’ve failed at one point or another at just about everything I’ve tried to do. But the only thing that actually makes you a failure is if you accept defeat. I have not. I will not.

    Money doesn’t make you happy, but it can make it easier to have the time and ability to do the things that make you happy.
    Being TRULY broke can make you miserable. (struggling to buy food or make house payments) If I was to go back in time and teach myself one thing, it would be about money. A lesson every kid should have is to have them pick out a lifestyle… a reasonable one, not MTV Cribs, thank you very much… and learn what it takes to really get it. It takes far more than I had thought -w.o being in debt up to your eyeballs -to have a ‘television family’ lifestyle.

    When you were young, you really weren’t THAT lonely. Trust me, its worth the wait to be with THE right person. I see many young people on my facebook posting about how looooonnnlyyy they are… and I just sigh. An intimate friendship at that age… a good mentor… to find something you love/are talented at and pursue your potential…. would be SOOO much better than having a ‘boy/girlfriend.’ If you cannot find peace and satisfaction for very long alone… you aren’t going to be able to find it for very long in a romantic relationship.

    No matter what those jocks and preppy kids thought, being a geek/nerd/weirdo… ect… is FAR better than being a jock or a prep. When you grow up, all the really cool people are weird. 🙂 -Reminds me of a line from ‘Stardust’….

  4. Vincent says:

    Good article. Ok here goes…I learned that life is difficult. Just the way it is. To the extent that we accept it we are mentally healthy. To the extent we refuse to accept it and expect it to be easy and shape it to our world view, we are ill.

    I learned that the ordinary life is the best life. Many think that their happiness lies out there, somewhere and they wind up chasing an illusion as a child chases his shadow.

    I learned that we need to be true to ourselves and stand firm in what we believe to be right That true living is to stop chasing illusions and falsehoods. To turn, be still, and face the light and not be ashamed of the truth in ourselves it reveals. Anything less is a life less ordinary.

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