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I feel like I’m 22 going on 52

April 13, 2011

Man, this has been a hard week.

Work has been really stressful and I’m trying to figure out how to leave the headaches in my cubicle and come home with a smile.  Blasting obscene rap music has been surprisingly calming.  Being stuck in rush hour traffic…not so much.

I used to wonder as a kid why my parents looked so tired after work, why my mom found making dinner for the four of us so difficult, why my dad insisted that we help him out with housework.  I thought, “Well, I have to go to school for 8 hours too and I have to do homework, what’s the big deal about cooking and laundry?  They have it so much easier than I do.”

Now I can’t believe they didn’t go crazy from it all or feed us McDonald’s every night or make us wear dirty clothes to school.

It’s in moments like these, when you peel back another layer from the mythical persona of your parents, when you begin to understand their daily struggles and sacrifices and joys, when you realize that the decisions you make will actually define your life, that you can actually feel yourself growing up.

You know those growing pains you get when going through puberty, where you can actually feel your  legs getting longer (or in my case, not that much longer)?

It’s kind of like that, but in your heart and in your gut.

My mom used to tell me to stretch my muscles, or to take more calcium or potassium to help with the pain.  And whether or not that actually helped, I believed her and it felt better.  But what do you do now that there is no straightforward answer? 

What is the cure for growing-up pains?

**While I haven’t come to any long-term, life-shattering revelations, what’s helped me through this week has been a simple combination of: running + phone calls with Austin + vanilla bean ice-cream.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2011 12:27 am

    It always used to bother me when my parents would come home and complain about work to each other for an entire dinner. But I definitely get it now. Growing up is weird, and I’m not sure if I like it, but I guess we don’t have much choice, do we? At the same time, I feel like there has been a lot of self-discovery in my early adulthood that kind of negates all of the real-world crap. I’m glad this post is intelligent and hopeful as opposed to shallow Facebook statuses ridden with bad attitudes about growing up from people we went to high school with. 🙂

    • Janie permalink
      April 16, 2011 10:38 am

      We definitely don’t have a choice about growing up, unless you want to end up being Benjamin Button (or Austin). It’s difficult at times but I’m trying to learn as much as I can from the experience and stay optimistic about it. You should write a post about this “self-discovery” you experienced in your early adulthood. I’d love to hear your growing up story. 🙂

  2. Austin permalink
    April 14, 2011 2:54 am

    I feel like I’m 21 going on 11. I don’t know which feeling is worse : )

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