Reverse Peter Pan

by Shannon

I know how you feel, little man.

I’ve been thinking about something Melissa said the other day. “Either you’re an adult now, or you want to be.”

It’s undeniably true. I have been waffling between these two states since I was 23. I’m not going to lie about the ages of 18 through 22, as I was nothing even remotely similar to an adult at 18, no matter what I would have told you then, and I hadn’t enough of a concept of adulthood to want it in any meaningful fashion. And at 22 I was too busy ignoring it and pretending it would go away.

Now? I’m still in that weird in-between state most people inhabit for a year or two post-baccalaureate, despite the fact that I am 25 and still have not completed my degree. But I’m finishing it, which is a step in the right direction, and the experience is doing more than anything to underline the differences between myself and, well, my previous self.

One of my classmates this past week complained about the adult students in her other classes. She said, “God, they always complain about how they were at work all day and now they have to come to class. Um, hello, missy has been in class for six hours today!” Her tone was flippant, in such a way that only the truly naive are able to achieve, but at the same time, I remember being her. I remember sitting in classes, staring at older students, wondering why they were even kidding themselves. Their lives weren’t so difficult, they just couldn’t hack it as a student, because they didn’t belong there!

I mean, I was wrong. Sitting at a desk, staring at a computer monitor and fine print for eight hours a day is far more exhausting than it has any right to be. And I did try, as you may remember, working full time to support myself and attending a full course load, and ended up faceplanting back in my parents’ basement. (There is still a small chance I may have to return to that lifestyle, which is one reason I want to get good grades and finish as many credits as possible now.)

Anyway, the point isn’t the readings (which for the first time I am genuinely on top of) or the material (much of which is review, given how many Literature and Philosophy courses I have already completed), or the homework (which i actually finish ahead of time! god, the Mayans were right). It’s the whole outlook on life.

You never expect yourself to change. I guess that is why older people complain about “the young generation.” You perceive the world in relation to yourself, and it’s easy to lose track of whether it’s them moving, or you.

Thank you to mysterious Flickr photographer for listing your picture under Creative Commons. I really should start doing my own photography.

Oh, also, I apparently have a posting schedule now. If you don’t use a blog reader or subscribe, look for me every Monday morning at 9:00AM.