It's not often that I write something right after it happens, but I had half a gin and tonic and a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich tonight, so I'm feeling frisky.
Things have been really busy lately. My real big-girl job is crazy because I work in weather, and you know #ClimateChange; I am the cohost of a sexy podcast (shameless plug for Not Another Anxiety Show on iTunes); I do this silly blog; and I write my face off in any other free time. I'm pooped, and sometimes I just want an easy night.
Today, I worked from home, and sat in fetal position in baggy sweats eating my feelings and wondering what women did that was *so* wrong to be cursed every single month like this.
So when my friends started texting and asking if I wanted to get a drink and check out the free concert at our favorite watering hole, I obviously responded with an "absolutely not". I want to power watch CW shows on Netflix and eat everything in three counties sans bra. But by 7:30, there I was, bellied up to the bar getting my $7 cider and wondering if the bacon-ranch fries would fit in my purse.
It was a fun night, despite my initial reluctance. I have a darn good crew which can be counted on for a bunch of laughs, even when you feel like you're being stabbed in the organs and feel like you look like Jabba the Hut. (As an aside: I don't care who you are, if you don't have a friend that will tell you that the shirt you're wearing is their favorite, and that you look "hawt", find new friends.)
Anyway, exactly one drink in, it was time for my pajamas, so I parted ways. I walked the few feet to where I parked my car....and you guessed it...
She's been towed.
Well, at least I can hope that it was towed. I didn't see any glass on the ground, so I'm hoping for the best.
Here's the thing: this kind of crap happens, no big deal. I absent-mindedly parked in a permit only spot or something, and it's my fault. I was only feet away from the friends I walked out with, and they drove me home safe and sound. All is well.
That's not the thing that's giving me heartburn and is making a lump in my throat.
The thing is that I think I might be really bad at adulting.
I'm not sure what it costs to get your car out of the clink, but I am sure I don't exactly have liquid assets, as they say. I'm going to do the thing I'm dreading, but that I'm so thankful that I have the ability to do: call my parents. I know not everyone can do that, but I have great parents that have the life experience to know that shit happens in life.
<I didn't just write that so they'll spot me>
<<but seriously, this blog costs me money, soooo....>>
It's not easy for me to write stuff like this because who likes to admit that they've screwed up? I barely wanted to tell the friends that drove me home. But I'm kind of excited to bring this up. Why? Because I'm not alone in this world of feeling shame over the seeming inability to be a fully functional adult, and I think it's time we talked about it.
Tuesday is my birthday. I'm turning 34. Thirty. Four. Holy tiny baby Jesus. That is so weird to see in print. I think I spent a full ten years working my face off, and didn't look up once. I feel like right now I'm the happiest I've ever been...and in that I mean that I really understand my mind and that happy is a choice. I have a good job with a silly amount of vacation time and good health care. I floss. I Biore. I have been known to eat a salad every financial quarter. I was like *so* close to almost understanding what PMI is after seven years of home ownership...before I dumped that beast and got a sexy downtown apartment. I check for ticks. I'm technically an adult.
So where is the disconnect with everything else? Why do I wait to do laundry until I quite literally run out of clothes? Why did I marathon the show Supergirl today on Netflix? Why do I keep telling myself that DeFazio's twice (read: thrice) a week is totally ok? Why don't I workout more? When was the last time I got a pap smear? When do people get mammograms? Is it ok that I'm driving a used 2011 Ford Fusion that has smelled like a wet dog that farted? Why don't I iron more? How often do people clean their showers? Does everyone use their chair as a clothes rack instead of hanging things? Are hoodies not acceptable evening wear at a certain age? Do real grown-ups make their beds every day? Every week???
And why am I not better with money? I don't have an overly extravagant lifestyle. Sure, I think I treat people too much when I'm having a good time. I'm a gifter. I do buy a lot of books. I like the milk at the farmer's market. I've been known to shop on Amazon here and there. And yeah, this website wasn't super cheap.
I don't feel great about being a bad grown-up, but I'd feel worse if I thought I was alone in this. I just don't think any of us were prepared. We don't learn this crap in school. Why don't they have an elective your freshman year of college that teaches you what a budget is? Or what the hell a 401K is? Or how to build and maintain your credit? Or...#ohmygod...how to fail and take criticism?
It's not like our parents didn't teach us, it's not their fault in the least. Our generation of parents did a dang good job. We're just doing things so much later, and things are so radically different, I don't think anything other than Adult Bootcamp would have sufficed.
Wait, that's bootcamp to become an adult....not an adult "themed" bootcamp....
I wonder if it was just that our parents started adulting earlier. Or if it was a little less complicated. Or if they don't know what their doing either. Man, I would love to hear that they don't know what their doing. Other than the signed picture of Dean Cain (I think my cousin Brigid signed it) I got for my birthday when I was like 13 or so, hearing that the "adults" in my life are still figuring it out would be the best gift ever.
Am I bad at being a grown up because I don't filter my water and because I wait WAY too long to take out my garbage? Or is am I giving myself a really hard time about things that no one does well, and not focusing on the things I can actually fix?
Here are the things I'm good at in my adulting: I have been known to walk past a treadmill every few moon cycles; I take care of my mind; I don't eat terribly every day any more; I don't drink myself to sleep every night; I'm aware of my gums when I brush my teeth; I donate clothes; I recycle; I get my oil changed (not a euphemism for a pap smear); I go to bed at a reasonable hour; I help people...like, a lot; I know what the acronym KPI means in a business context.
So yeah, I'm not excited about my car. I'm not excited that I didn't read the "no parking sign". I'm not excited about asking for help. And yes, I'm listening to sad French songs (hashtag: Ne Me Quitte Pas is my actual jam) while I'm eating peanut butter on a chocolate rice cake. But I also know deep down that I'm doing an ok job most of the time. I'm going to work on some things, but maybe keep the shame out of it as best I can while I'm getting my adulting on.
And maybe one of these days, I'll finish Googling how to save for retirement instead of getting side-tracked by videos of soldiers returning home to their pets.