How To Be An Adult (Kind Of)

Twenty20 / @brittneyborowski

I nearly sat on my cat once. As if I thought a pillow could be mistaken for a fury feline. This was the beginning of all the defining moments that made me believe I wasn’t ready to be an adult.

At fifteen, I sprayed myself with ‘Chanel No 5’ before I went to bed every night because I’d read that’s what Marilyn Monroe used to do. And if Marilyn Monroe did it, that would make me closer to being an adult. Or a seductive one at least (until someone told me the scent smelt of Grandma piss).

So, I moved on to Cartier, because that was a REAL ADULT SMELL slash it’s actually really expensive, so that’s probably why only “working people” A.K.A adults can afford it…unless it was found on Ebay or stolen from a toilet cubicle in a drunken rage with a McDonald’s Happy Meal clutched into your right arm like Paris Hilton holds her Chihuahua.

My parents even started contributing to my ‘Headphone Fund’ a couple of years ago. It’s a fund that supports my missing headphones that disappear at least once a week. They started collecting them for me from places they’d visit, namely on Bus Tours…I think that was the worst: A Bus Tour. I had become a charity and my diminishing adulthood had been fed through an hour long tour in a bus around the Champs-Elysees with two free sets of headphones as a reward. At least I could say I was Parisian.

I lose pretty much everything. In fact, I lose so much that I’m actually worried to have a kid. And this is a real thought because I genuinely think I would lose it. I would need one of those metal detectors I see cheesy-wotsit tanned, beer-bellied men using on the beach to find gold.

Only in this case, the gold would be my baby and I would have to wrap it around in tin foil that I’d find lying around the kitchen, so I’d always know where it was. I’m even contemplating buying a set of binoculars and living my life through its lens because then maybe I wouldn’t miss all the moments that tick off in my head because I’m too busy accidentally sitting on a cat. I mean pillow. (This time it WAS a Pillow).

Food shopping fills me with deep dread. I just want to swing around on the trolley and dive-bomb into the chocolate aisle, because that would solve all of my conflicting problems temporarily.

I genuinely never know what to buy. I get this anxious feeling that I should be making fancy herb infused tartines and whipping up a homemade pizza with banging cheesy crusts because then I’d qualify to host a dinner party without contributing 2 -4 -1 mini Sausage rolls and a bottle of Chardonnays not-so- finest (drunk out of a mug because all the glasses are still dirty).

I’ve reached my quarter of a life title (and although after that sentence, I’m still breathing…) I still sing in my hairbrush when Britney Spears comes on my Spotify, the same way I first listened to ‘Oops I did it again’ on my 2000 CD Walkman.

I spend my wages on metallic leotards, glitter and alcohol and I always end up in situations which usually end in “what happened last night?” while hugging a pile of half eaten soggy chips. It’s like I’m Columbo and I’m playing the part of the detective, only this time I’m wondering where all my money has gone because I committed to a 12 month gym membership and I’ve only been once, sipping on Diet Coke instead of water mid squat.

And don’t get me started on the D’s. The D’s being The Dentist and The Doctors. Making appointments freaks me out and I still ask my Mum advice on what to say when I call up.

It’s like, having a pet as a child was a small introduction to what adulthood might look like; making decisions for someone other than yourself and learning that childhood pick and mix selfishness won’t get you anywhere as an adult in Leicester Squares M&M World, where raising your middle finger to the person next to you who got the last baby blue button, will get you kicked out and probably viral on the Snapchat news feed.

Drunk texting still seems like an excellent choice to muster the courage to tell someone you like them and the best part is, when you read it back sober, it looks like a poetical riddle that makes you wonder if you’ve got the potential to leave your day job and become a modern day Shakespeare.

But that possibility soon dies when you see they’ve blocked you. So you drink again to soften the blow and live off baked beans because you have no money but extreme amounts of impending flatulence. What a catch.

But wait, who said any of this was wrong? Apart from, okay, the gassy part which could be reigned in…

Who said there’s a ‘guidebook’ to what being an adult should look like? That by the time we reach a certain age we should have everything figured out with a car (I still don’t have my license) or a deposit on a house with your childhood sweetheart you’re about to marry?

Life shouldn’t be as regimented as that, because if it was, what would be authentic about it? Each one of us is making it all up as we go along and the only way we learn is by making mistakes, taking risks and following our own path, whatever that may be, at whatever age we are.

When I was a child I was fearless, playful and honest and they’re all the things I try to encapsulate with being an adult. I was never going to be a top chef or a master at organization and I don’t want to be. I want to be whoever this person is that I’m discovering each day and for the things I lack in independence, I gain in other moments of dependence and that is OKAY. Because the most “adult” thing I have learnt, is that happiness will not be found in comparison, regrets or ‘what ifs’, but rather acceptance, ownership and the power to just live. TC mark

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