Add 4 scoops of “I’m sick of this shit.” Be at an age of transition, a time when you see yourself veering away from blackouts and vacuous sex but not necessarily running into the arms of adulthood. Maybe you only drink three glasses of wine now and sleep with people you like when you’re sober. That’s certainly progress from vomiting in the dorms and putting that stuff up your nose. Growing up is having a bad experience when you eat a pot brownie and deciding to never do it again. Growing up is no longer sleeping with the person who’s going to make you feel good for the 2.5 seconds while you orgasm and then make you feel like shit forever.
Add a limitless amount of resolution. You just can’t wake up another morning feeling disappointed in yourself. You must develop a learning curve, must alleviate all of this regret that’s weighing you down. Your physical weight may be small but your emotional weight is Carnie Wilson and Kirstie Alley eating sundaes at the beach. This requires a great amount of resolution. You spent so much time saying yes to everything and now it’s time to try out N-O.
Stir in 6 ounces of being realistic. Life doesn’t operate under extremes. After a particularly bad night, you can’t just be like, “I’m never going out again. I’m staying at home and reading books about art.” That won’t work. You’ll just end up betraying yourself in a week and feeling even worse than when you started. Growing up is a subtle process. Growing up means balance. One day you’ll realize that you haven’t hurt your body or heart in awhile and be like that Blink 182 song and say, “WELL I GUESS THIS IS GROWING UP!”
Crush up 10 cubes of respect. Stop being such a little shit basically. Start to see your parents as flawed human beings and begin to feel bad about all of those years you were a churlish adolescent. Growing up means you have to see outside of yourself. No, you have to want to see outside of yourself. Realize that your viewpoint is limited and actively try to expand it. Empathize. Don’t reject things you don’t understand. Put yourself in someone else’s flats.
Sprinkle 10 hard decisions on top of the growing up casserole. Sometimes growing up means outgrowing some of your friends. It’s a hard fucking thing to realize that you have nothing in common with someone who used to be your everything. You want to go back to that time when it all made sense, when they made sense but you can’t. In the end, it’s usually a good thing. It’s a sign that you’re evolving and moving on to the next step. Growing up means giant grey areas. Friendships don’t go out with a bang. They slowly die. In a way, it’s much worse. The silence can be deafening.
Put your dish in the oven for 40 minutes. Spend that time mourning all of the bad decisions you made, all the friendships that died at the hands of time, and all of the things you must give up in order to love yourself about. Cry hard. Stop crying. Become hopeful and happy about the future. Say to yourself again (softly this time but with feeling), “Well I guess this is growing up.”
Take out of the oven and eat your fucking grown up casserole, you fucking grown up!