Wednesday, June 25, 2014

You're an Adult (?)

Not too long ago, I was questioned about a professional decision I had made. I admit that I am human and therefore given to err, but in this case, I believe I did the correct thing. Whether this is the case or not isn't the point at the moment. Because the situation brought up some larger issues.

I remember discussing the events with my mother, and sometime during that conversation, I said to her, "I'm 27 years old [back when I was still 27!] and have my terminal degree, for crying out loud; I think I know what I'm doing by now." It was only later that I started wondering if I did, in fact, know what I'm doing.

Adulthood is a tricky thing. Most days, I feel I'm behind the curve. I haven't done any of the things adults do: get married, buy a house, succumb to the scourge of an early bedtime. And the people I know who are in my age group all seem so much more mature and put together than I am.

In a way, this is why I chose to study young adult literature in grad school. I want others to know that they aren't the only ones flailing--particularly teenagers, who probably suffer the most from confusion about their maturity level. And in another way, this is why I worked with college students so long as I did: because I remember what it was like to search for answers about my place in the world and my ability to function in it.

Maybe someday I'll feel like a grownup. In the meantime, I'll have to muddle my way through and help anyone I can on the long, arduous journey.


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