“Life is a banquet and most poor bastards are starving to death!” — Auntie Mame
Grown up means different things to different people. I am older. Like the saying goes, “Inside every old person is a young person wondering what the hell happened.” Have I changed? Oh yes. Have I grown up? Not too sure about that. I’m doing now what I was doing in High School [that was when I was first published] so while my career experience has been wide, I’m doing what I started out doing, Writing.
I’m captain of my soul. I do what I want when I want but at the same time since I like having a roof over my head and food on the table, I do certain things to obtain those items. Is that being grown up? I don’t think so because I was captain of my soul when I was still a teenager. Heck, when I was still a kid. I decided what I wanted to be and what role models I would choose.
Has it changed? Yes. Today I don’t do things because it would make my mother happy. I no longer speak to my half-brother and find myself happier in the last 15 years than I have been in the previous 41. Mom’s dead. There is no reason to pretend any more so I don’t. If I see him again in any lifetime it will be too soon.
I know I’ve changed. Things that I thought mattered no longer matter. My mother cured me of “what will people think”. I don’t care what they think. Some very wise women taught me a very basic rule. “If they aren’t cleaning your house, sleeping with you, or paying your bills, who cares what they think.” No it wasn’t my mother who died worrying what people would think. Of course Mother’s last words where “I always thought there would be more time to do things I wanted to do.” My answer? “There never is any more time. You have to do them when you think of them or you will never do them.”
I find myself sometimes wondering when I will grow up but by most definitions, I am grown up. In fact, I am headed for the last of my life at a rapid pace. It’s down hill and considering my family tends to get cancer after age 60, it’s coming at a right smart clip. I can tell the body I have is ageing but it is still a surprise because I feel as I did when I was 17. Realizing I am not “a spring chicken” any more is hard.
Things have changed but not because of my “growing up”. I have chosen to change them because at some point, I got sick and tired of being sick and tired. But am I grown up? No. I doubt I will be on the day I die. That’s not a bad thing. Those who were grown up tend to be dull as dirty dishwater.