Non-Linear Thoughts on Showing Up

I guess I made a resolution to start picking up phone calls from numbers I don’t recognize.  This is primarily necesitated by my habitual negligence of my phone’s contact list.  It just seems like real work to press that little plus button and input the data for someone’s phone number.  First and last name, home or mobile or work, connect it to any e-mail addresses that somehow my phone pulled off of Facebook or some other internet brain.  Sidenote: are “home” numbers still a thing?

Also, though, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to get ahold of people when I need them.  So despite whatever intense allergies to talking on the phone I’ve developed over the years, I’m diving head first into the dander and pollin of pressing that damned green square.  Yes, I am here and will take your call!

It may seem like a trivial resolution, but it seems a bit more like embracing the anxiety of “showing up” and crossing one more (imaginary?) threshold into adulthood.  Sometimes it seems like people thought getting married was that threshold that (should have) turned me into an adult.  It definitely didn’t, unless being an adult feels exactly like being a floundering adolescent.  But this answering the phone business, this may be it.

We’ve all been talking to our therapist, George, about becoming adults.  I remember once having a conversation with a activist friend, whatever that means, where she cited a recent study about how 20 somethings are delaying becoming adults.  I think they cited milestones for acheiving adulthood something like, getting married, having children, living with a spouse without roomates, being 100% financially independent, blah blah.  I don’t mean to downplay these significant life changes, but in my close-knit community of friends that fit into some or all of these categories, they don’t seem to really birth that type of put-togetheredness we all expected.  None of us feel particularly in charge of ourselves, even though no one else is doing that job either.

If these things don’t bring adulthood then what does?  Even more problematic, what is adulthood anyway?  Maybe that’s where you have to start this investigation.  Or maybe, you become an adult once the hardest part of the day becomes the bare minimum: showing up.  That was easier, somehow, when I was younger.  Getting out of bed, showering, saying “Yes!” and “Hello!” to each day.   Now it is often more like, “Maybe?” and “WHY!”

I watched an interview recently with Lena Dunham, and she talked about our generation graduating college during a recession, and perhaps every generation’s confusion in how to move forward.  The temptation of returning to the womb.

I asked my Mom if she feels like she is an adult yet.  She said, “No, I don’t know when I will…I thought when I had kids but not then…maybe when I have grandkids?  I still feel like I’m 25, no less have a kid that’s 25!”

Anyway, I’m not sure what I’m getting to.  But that’s precisely the point I was trying to make all along.  Where is this all headed?


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