Not really. If you’ve ever honestly looked at yourself or people you’re close to, this is no news. We’re very rarely in the moment and the body unless we work on it consciously. Most time we’re stuck in the upper floor doing something vaguely productive (wishing we were doing something else) or completely unproductive such as rummaging through the past or obsessing about the future, mauling some conversation over in your head for the hundredth time playing it out differently and just now remembering with an eye roll all of the things we could have said, fighting some temptation, juts randomly worrying or daydreaming or planning something not paying attention to now.
“Adulting” – that’s what the current culture playfully calls all of our efforts to seem like fully functional adults who, behind closed doors, end up exhausted from playing pretend and slide into some behavior such as considering cheesy puffs dinner because we’re just too tired to cook from the effort of seeming like we’ve got it all figured out. I don’t. We don’t. No one does. There will be some days when your bra and panties or your tie and socks match and you’ll get that feeling that you’ve got it all together. Maybe you haven’t screwed big time in some ridiculous shameful way in a while, maybe you’ve made some good decisions, due to your own personal genius or just due to the sheer amount of decisions grown upness demands, where the law of large numbers dictates that sometimes you will be the right ones… and you feel good. Sometimes you’ll get those moments and you’ll start to believe your own lie that you’re an adult handling it… until a thing happens, any old thing. It may be that a red light or a supermarket line is too long, someone is driving like an idiot, the store is out of your favorite brand of ice cream, you’ve talked to your mom who said something that keeps gnawing at you or someone didn’t read your mind about what you want and it wasn’t instantly gratified. And here comes a tantrum, privately or openly. We pout, scream, sulk, get irrationally angry, annoyed… It’s ok. We all have this antisocial ill controlled spoiled little monster behind the curtain, doing a better or worse job of hiding it.
You know this in you and the people you know well. It actually gives more color to who they are. It makes them human. Some beautiful remnants of childhood remain as well – The curiosity, the exploratory spirit that does little experiments in everyday life just to see how thigs work and figure out the world a bit more, the ability to get so excited about things and geek over stuff, the parts of us that are unafraid to show imperfection and are persistent and pigheaded enough to dispose with the judgment of the surroundings and keep trying… The point is, after all, to go through the spectrum of life experiences and come right back to the state of childlike wonder, wiser than you were the first time. If you watch a two year old there is a lightness there, an immersion in the now which eludes you, the unapologetic display of intense emotion not yet restricted by society’s rules. Some of this needs to be tapered down if you intend to live as a functional member of society, take on some responsibility, build things and take care of them. but keeping the kid inside alive can help you get more joy out of the small things and not take yourself so seriously all the time.
Take this into consideration when dealing with people. None of us are really as adult s we’d like the world to think. You’d excuse a kid for being cranky and approach him/her with understanding but not your partner? Why? We all have our spoiled, needy, confused, sad, anxious, hopeful, playful parts and an honest deep relationship allows all of this to be seen and accepted. We just make it all so transactional and rigid, counting on the grown upness of another, knowing very well that we too are figuring it out as we go. Sometimes we just need to be, to get some solitude, a kind word, comfort, sometimes we need to explore, to be obsessed by an idea or melancholic. It’s all valid. It’s all a part of the story. No matter how expensive your wallet, how good you are at navigating traffic at rush hours or conducting a business meeting, you may just want a scone butt naked when you get home after all the adulting. And that’s all fine. You can have your cake (scone) and eat it too. After all you’re all grown up now and the only one parenting you is yourself.