On Being an Adult

So I have another saying: I can do whatever I want, because I am an adult! Yes, I have to remind myself out loud that I am a full-fledge, actualized adult – and announce the joys of being so to whomever will listen (or read, hi!!).

The fantastically ironically named soundtrack for this blog post is definitely Ship of Fools, for the line: 30 years upon my

Talk about doing what you want! Capt. Trips would have been 73 yesterday. We miss you Jerry!
Talk about doing what you want! Capt. Trips would have been 73 yesterday. We miss you Jerry!

head/to have you call me child. (P.S. Happy birthday, Jerry!)

There’s something about being an adult who is petite and cheery, who likes to roller skate and hula hoop and has only one key – for a bike lock – on her key chain: Simply, I’m not always taken seriously. But that’s OK, because I’m an adult and I can do anything I want to.

Not like I’m a little kid, of course. I woke up crazy-early this morning and went to the grocery store, and I totally was not carded for my wine because no one underage would go to the grocery store at 7:30 a.m. and buy cabbage, tofu and one bottle of wine.

I’m an adult! And if I want to go to New York City for the weekend to visit my boyfriend, because I’ve got some money in the bank from selling all my personal possessions, why not? What else would I use it for besides wonderful experiences? I took in a Frida Kahlo exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden and watched a fantastic, interactive art video/spoken word piece at the Bronx Museum all about trying to get to “Plan B by any means necessary!”. My man and I danced around on skates in Central Park in a pop-up skate jam, and I ate fruit on

Frida was another fully realized adult, burdens and all. A treat to see this original self-portrait on display!
Frida was another fully realized adult, burdens and all. A treat to see this original self-portrait on display!

the High Line thinking about Jung Uk Yang’s solo exhibit at the Doosan Gallery I happened upon. I bought a shirt at Patagonia. I was kissed on the Brooklyn Bridge.

I did what I wanted.

Of course, this philosophy extends well beyond vacations. It’s everything we do, all the time. We carve our own path every day. Mom and Dad no longer get to tell me what to do and where to go (My parents always prioritized independence any way, to a fault, perhaps). Do you have kids like so many of my friends? Isn’t it funny to suddenly be the one to tell someone else what to do all the time? At what point did it switch?

I think it’s when we got … cue scary music … RESPONSIBILITIES! It’s when we started taking up the burdens of the world, to move society forward in some way, to evolve and “figure things out” that we become adults. It’s also about that time that life starts to beat us down.

So, scary stuff: Two days ago, a fire erupted on the S/V Tortuga, my boyfriend’s sailboat. I was tidying, writing and doing chores – being a very good little girl! – when I smelled something amiss. Seconds later, I saw a thin sliver of smoke coming up through a cabinet behind the chart table. I turned off the A/C power switch and probably wasted 30 seconds being in denial and confused. I opened the cabinet door under the chart table and saw a LOT of smoke! OH SHIT! I grabbed the fire extinguisher and emptied it to no avail. I saw flames. I grabbed a pitcher of water nearby and emptied it over the flames, which persisted. Thankfully there was still a little water pressure to fill up the pitcher again at the sink. I dumped it again over the flames, and it went out. It was the inverter. It spontaneously combusted! My guardian angel ensured I was right there to save the boat, my kitty and my life.

It was traumatic, of course. I’ve been total PTSD Central since it happened, crying and being upset. I was walking down the dock when I realized that my shoulders were slumped forward in defeat. Ugh. Adulthood.

YES I am a superwoman ... cinched waist and all. Sheesh, way to make her all Barbie, free Internet clip art.
YES I am a superwoman … cinched waist and all. Sheesh, way to make her all Barbie, free Internet clip art.

Wait a minute! There is a reason that I say time and time again that I get to do anything I want to! That’s because I do. And that also means taking control of my mind and not letting the bumps in the road (at sea?) get the best of me. I’m a superwoman!

So, with the power restored surprisingly easily (thanks to my friend Michael and also, hey, my quick thinking and fortitude), I’m working on normalizing. And that involves doing whatever I want to do all the time.

Because here’s the thing: I WANT to help society move forward and evolve and figure things out. That’s what is so awesome about being an adult. It’s a mighty responsibility, one that shouldn’t be shouldered lightly, but a wonderful opportunity to do good in this world. It is the very heart of The Lovelight Project. I’m grateful I have another day to be an adult. Are you?

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