There is a lot of controversy over the new term adulting. You can go down a internet wormhole on it if you want, and read about how millennials are entitled and silly, and make a big deal out of ourselves because we cook dinner or go on a run, but here’s what I have to to about that. Big fat raspberry fart noise. Okay, well maybe not that big, but come on. When we say we are adulting, we are giving ourselves credit, and maybe we don’t need credit for picking something up from the dry cleaner, but maybe we do? Confused look.
I keep going back to this scene in the last season of Girls. Hannah is pregnant or had just delivered, and she is hysterical and screaming to her mother that she is in pain, and her mother asks her You know who else is in pain Hannah? The whole world. She tells Hannah that she needs to look outside of her hysteria and grow up enough to realize that the world is painful, and that is just a fact. It’s becoming clear to me that there are things that have to happen to be productive successful human beings, and part of that is being responsible enough to feed ourselves and take care of our bodies, and some of that is just knowing how to sit with our pain and grow up and just kind of take things that hurt and sit with them and realize the world isn’t ending, the core of our being is not changed, and we can just take a deep breath and wait for things to unfold.
Adulting is learning to be strong, and to attend to the things that are the most important to us. I don’t know I fall into the millennial generation, but I do wonder if past generations may have balanced less things than we try to do now? With the internet at the ready there are endless opportunities for meetups, exercise groups, friends gatherings, internet time wasting, researching, playing games, learning more and more and more or just really wasting time. And yes, I value the internet obviously, I’m writing this on a blog. But I think my point is that to a point adulting is learning how to balance all the things including self care, relationships, finances, health, and all of the wildly distracting things that get us off course. I guess adulting is also just learning to be strong, and ride the waves sometimes.
Perhaps what is also different about our generation and maybe part of the reason why we are looking for credit for adulting is that our parents didn’t just teach us just to put our heads down and do our best, they taught us to like ourselves, and to learn what we loved. While I think that mentality is certainly a step forward it creates this tension against doing what we love and what we are passionate about and what makes us feel good, and doing what we need to do in order to survive. I mean as a 33 year old payroll administrator, I like my job a lot, but this is not what I dreamed of doing. Hell, I don’t even know what I dreamed of doing, but my life is pretty great, and still this is not what I thought this would feel like. But you know what, that’s okay, it just means that I keep seeking more, I keeping pushing myself to find healthy and reasonable ways to express my creativity and pursue my passion. Hence the blog.
So, I say cheers to adulting. This week in my episode of Adulting 201 because I finally passed 101 and 102, but I have been on repeat at the sophomore level core curriculum, I have have needed to shift my anxiety about relationships and future into different avenues than I may have chosen even 4 months ago. I was a big fanof Avenue Breaktown, Avenue Argument, and even Demanding Attention Street. However, I feel like I have seen all the houses on those streets too many times, and their garbage is kind of piling up, so I want to see something fresh and new. Instead of giving into my spinning and need to control the situation, I breathed, ran 7 miles so far, went to work was more efficient than normal at work, and spent some well deserved time in the kitchen making some really delicious healthy meals for myself and partner who is working seven days this week.
When I am depressed or anxious the struggle to cook is real. I am lazy, and I like to binge watch shows that make me feel something outside of myself, rather than getting moving and do something that requires effort. Cooking involves shopping, and planning, and cleaning, and it all seems like too much when there is a Taco Bell on the next corner. But this week I didn’t give into the urge to eat fast food. After a lunch with friends this weekend where I asked numerous questions about making something in a Moroccan tagine, I thought to myself that sounds so delicious, and then something inside said, that’s too much work, but I shut it down and made something delicious.
Two nights later, I have made another tagine dinner, which is surprisingly easy, however please don’t ask for a complete recipe, because I don’t measure, but really think chicken quarters, cumin, cinnamon, apricots, almonds, shallots, carrots, squash, tumeric, cardamon, honey, and over all delicious. I don’t think a tagine is needed. Dutch oven would be great. The first night I served with wild rice, and tonight I am eating it with couscous which I made on the side and I also ripped off a piece of my homemade bread and dunked it into the lovely gravy produced in the tagine.
I’m obviously proud of myself. Look at my adulting, feeding myself and everything mom! But for real guys, I am proud of what this represents for me. It represents a concrete expression of my creativity and passion at a time when life was seeming really overwhelming, At this time my head told me to stay in bed and binge watch Netflix, but instead I watched a little Netflix, listened to some podcasts, and cooked my heart out. It was definitely more work than I needed to do, and I totally give myself credit for beating my mind this week. I feel like I am screaming at myself I have pain and then there is just a wiser more mature version of myself saying so does everyone else. But instead of stopping there my inner voice says but what can you do to better yourself despite that pain. So I cook, and I write, and I keep patting myself on the back for adulting, because if giving myself a little too much credit is what gets me through the day, I’ll take it.