The Lives of Other Grown-Ups

Adult Card

It’s already been established in previous posts that I’m not very good at being a grown-up. I didn’t choose a conventional road through life. I’ve shirked many responsibilities that other people think I should have. I don’t have the typical, societal endorsed grown-up life.

So living this non-conventional life, I often wonder about the “normal” grown-ups I know and their lives.

For example, I know many people that work in various offices. They have cubes and they stare at spreadsheets all day and they complain about their coworkers and it’s all very normal and very adult. And I find myself hearing about their lives and wondering, is this what they wanted? Is this what they had in mind when the went to college? Is this their goal?

Of course, I don’t know and I don’t want to unintentionally offend anyone by asking. I don’t want to put down their job because it’s their life and so their job is important. And I’m not one to go around saying one job is more important than another. But I do wonder if this is what they always wanted to do.

I know that for some people, it isn’t. They took the jobs their in now because of other parts of their lives, other goals they wanted to achieve and the job they took was a way for them to do that. But some people, I wonder.

I wonder how some people can do it. I worked in an office and I didn’t care for it. I thought I’d like it and I didn’t. It wasn’t the people, it was just the job. It didn’t work with me. And the idea of being trapped in a job like that because I need to make money to pay the bills makes me break out in a cold sweat.

I wonder why it doesn’t have the same effect on them. Are they more mature than I am? Do they understand that common thread of normal life that I’ve somehow missed that working a drudge job is just part of the game? Or do they even see it as a drudge job? Is it something fulfilling to them? Does it fill something in them that I don’t have empty in myself and that’s why the idea of a grown up job gives me the hives?

I don’t know, but I regularly ask myself these thing.

I want to be a writer because it’s something I think I’m good at. It’s one of my few talents. It solves my problem of wanting to be so many things when I grow up by letting me bypass the actual time needed to be educated to do them and just writing about them instead. I get to live vicariously through my characters. I want to be my own boss. (Okay, that’s only sort of because I still have to answer to other folks like editors and such, but in general, I’m the one that figures out what I’m working on and what my timetable is for the most part.)

I’ve thought about abandoning that in favor of the “normal” life and being a grown-up, but I just can’t bring myself to go through with it.

I think I may be allergic.

But that doesn’t stop me from wondering about other grown-ups and their lives. No matter what, I hope they’re happy.

Adventures in Housesitting

Simba, Fritz, and Bootsie.

I spent a week at my great-aunt’s house while she and my cousins were on vacation. The task was simple enough. All I had to do was take care of the dogs and cats, get the mail, and water the garden. After that, my time was my own to do what I pleased.

Now I live in a small town in the middle of a cornfield, but it’s definitely a town. My aunt lives on the outskirts of a village. She’s got neighbors and a highway runs behind her house, but it still feels very much more isolated than my little house in my little town. I’ve never spent the night at her house before, but I did sleep over at my grandparents’ house all the time growing up and they lived a couple of miles away in the same scenario (except for the highway part). In short, I’m no stranger to being in the country.

However, I’ve never been in the country alone overnight.

I’ve also never been alone in my aunt’s house, so it was a weird feeling walking in with all of my stuff and no one was there. It felt like I was intruding.

I admit that for the first couple of days I felt like a stranger in a strange land (silly since I’d spent so much time in the house previously, but it’s different being there alone). It was all about getting comfortable being in my aunt’s house alone. I live by a routine when I’m at home. It’s an important part of keeping the flow of my day. Once I was able to establish a routine that involved feeding and playing with the dogs, minding the cats, getting the mail, and watering the garden, I settled in pretty well.

Emma and Zoey.

Staying overnight in a new place, particularly one out in the middle of nowhere, it can be easy to spook yourself. I think I locked the door at my aunt’s house more than I locked it at mine. Of course I locked it when I went to sleep, but I also locked it when I took a shower, too. I’d also shut and lock the bathroom door. Maybe that’s just logical. Maybe it’s paranoia. Maybe it’s the effect of watching Psycho.

On the other hand, after the first day I was like, “Why am I shutting the door every time I go to the bathroom? I’m the only one here!”

In a way it was a little taste of living on my own in theory. It wasn’t my house, it wasn’t my ideal choices of food, it wasn’t my animals. But it was me cooking for myself. It was me solely responsible for the animals in the house.  It was me being solely responsible for the house.

It was a week of being some kind of grown-up that I haven’t been yet.

I kind of liked it.

Of course, it was only a week. And I wasn’t financially responsible for anything.

I’m sure that makes all the difference.