I sometimes feel like I'm the ultimate late-bloomer. I am often told that I don't look my age (thank you, oily skin). More often, that I don't act it (thank you, equally immature group of friends). And I clearly I have a penchant for books that were meant for much younger women. Girls, really. Girls just graduating from college, getting their first apartment, moving away from home for the first time, having to learn how to fix their toilet or navigate a new city. I've been out of my parents' house since I was nineteen and have been working ever since. I've lived in four different states and nine different cities. I'm old enough that I should know better about a lot of these things that various women are writing about for younger generations. So why do I keep reading these books about becoming an adult (and how to go about it the right way the first time)?
It all started a few years ago, when I discovered The Girl's Guide to Absolutely Everything (which I house in the Reference section of my Kindle). Melissa Kirsch's book is a fun read and you can skip around or read it cover to cover - it's all up to you. I am only now examining why it appealed to me. Today, of all days, because I am reading yet another one of these books (more on that later) and because I let someone make me feel like a complete and utter failure as an adult for doing one thing wrong. Not a small thing, but still. And no, I don't want to talk about it just now.
In any case, what really got me interested, once I'd delved into this book, was that it did not shy away from reality. Like the fact that many women suffer from irregular bowel movements. Something most women do not want to discuss with anyone. Holding it in, pretending we don't have bodily functions so as not to offend guys - what the hell are we thinking? Shouldn't we be allowed to be human? Shouldn't remaining healthy be more important than fitting into someone else's version of what you're supposed to be? Along those lines, Kirsch brings up the fact that women's magazines aren't going to represent any female body you have or will ever see in real life. In other words, stop comparing yourself to photoshopped pictures that make even the women they're supposed to be of feel insecure.
Books like this discuss things that women grow up (in most cases) believing apply only to them. I have written about this before, but every time I talk to a group of women (friends, coworkers, what have you) about the nitty gritty of life, we always end up agreeing that we don't talk about these things enough. Whether it's something serious like how many women actually suffer miscarriages and don't talk to anyone about it because they're afraid of what people will say. To the far less serious fact that men aren't the only ones who fart and if you have gas, it's gotta go somewhere.
Since I've had a bad day for adulting, I'm going to take a moment for some affirmations. Won't you join me? Here are the things I need to remember make me a responsible adult (if nothing else):
I own a toolbox with a complete set of tools, extra nails and screws, and enough duct tape and Gorilla Glue to fix anything that needs fixing.
My kitchen is packed with good, fresh food and enough dry ingredients to make a big Italian dinner for last minute guests.
And this one, from Brown's Adulting blog: I fully recognize that admitting I've done something poorly does not excuse it or make everything just dandy. It is simply the first step in fixing the problem. I also recognize that most people don't understand this concept and will therefore apologize for their actions without actually changing.
Possible future reads: