It’s that age

I have hit an awkward age in life. You know, they say that adolescence is where you really have to change and adapt and it is the most awkward period of life. It really isn’t. Sure, body parts change and your voice changes, you get hair in places it wasn’t before and hormones rage through your system for the first time, but it is easy to get through that stage. There are a number of “coming of age” books designed specifically for adolescents. For example, there is Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, and there is also The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I am sure there is a whole list of these things somewhere (like this one on amazon). It is almost like they are created solely for the purpose of guiding adolescents into their adolescent-hood… or pre-adulthood.

Young adults such as myself tend to be okay rolling with the punches. I mean, generally I can find some way to deal with things (with the help of “mommy” calls to my beloved mother for advice) and can get along well. I have passed through adolescence pretty well, and I have successfully completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science at a prestigious college in the Pacific Northwest. I have an apartment I am renting to call home, two cats, a husband, and job. I am pretty darn set and am trying this mad-dash to Adulthood (with I am currently loathing).

But there are certain situations that call into the foreground that I am in a weird place… Such as the party I was at last night. A cousin of my husband’s had her sweet 16 party. This is all well and good, but kind of weird since she was about 9 when I joined the picture… I thought I was being invited to a family party, which I have successfully found a niche in with my husband’s family. Or, somewhat successfully. Still working on that whole transition thing from one of the kids to one of the adults… but I digress. Back to the party: there were a few age groups there, but only my husband and I were post-college age. We didn’t fit with the middle schoolers, high schoolers and early college-age students, nor did we fit in with the adults (most of which were in their late 30s to the 50s)… my husband is used to this, since he has been in this stage for a little bit. I wanted to dance but was self-conscious to dance with the youngers, and I wanted to chat but really I don’t have a lot of common ground with most of the adults. I don’t like to feel like I am imposing on them, really. I want to relate so if they say they saw a movie, I say “Cool! How was it?” then ask if they saw a movie I recently did. Or if they are reading a book I’ll say “Sounds fun, I am reading XXXX right now.. it is interesting. What do you think of the book you are reading?”

It sounds rude to me thinking back, but when I am saying it I am desperately trying to relate. I guess I need to acquire new people skills or something. I am also a bit too forward for people and it makes them uncomfortable, especially during a debate or when I am trying to understand something. I tend to ask lots of questions and if I see what I perceive as a “hole in the argument” I will poke at it to see if it holds up or how they will answer the question.  I could come up with a million reasons why it makes sense to me, but if the other people think I am abrupt, abrasive, or just plain rude it doesn’t matter where I was coming from. I don’t know if it will make them understand I wasn’t dissing them or anything… but again I digress.

Part of my blames it on my education. Again, I was taught to argue (okay, more like aggressively debate), and to question everything. I was told to try to get to the root of a problem/belief/etc. Trying to understand from multiple angles and see the soundness of an argument/position through asking the hard question and clarifying the meanings was just a part of my education. I am not gonna ask why the sky is blue (a combination of being told what “blue” is as a perceived color via color recognition in early education and the refraction of light in the atmosphere. Or so I am told.) but I will ask hard questions. Like a salesguy who was going on and on about how this product was eco-friendly because you don’t use chemicals with the microfiber cloth. I asked what it was made of and if it biodegrades. He brushed me off with “I’m only the sales guy,” and it kind of set him off his spiel.

Secondly I blame my own inquisitive nature and inability to curb it. I also blame my apparent lack of people skills. I won’t apologize for my inquisitiveness, but I will apologize if my lacking people skills has hurt or upset you.

Blame isn’t really the right word… Attribute to? I don’t know. Words fail me at 2am.

But after sitting for an hour at the party feeling bad because I didn’t fit in, I feigned headache (so not to hurt people’s feelings) and stepped outside a moment. Then my mother-in-law tried to drag me out to the dance floor (she literally dragged grandma in a chair!) and make me chicken dance with the other “kids”… and my husband helped. It kind of broke the ice and we started talking about stuff, mostly random. Mostly I talked to my mother-in-law and watched the dancing, or danced with my husband back in a little corner where the others couldn’t make fun of me. I seriously thought they would avoid me like the weird old person trying to dance the kewl new moves, yo. Or would tell me to get my old butt off the dance floor. To middle schoolers, post-graduates are old.

I wish I was like the small children I saw. They were so carefree, so happy to dance and they didn’t care who saw them. They also didn’t care what people thought or of offending anyone. Then again, almost everyone loves small children and their way of dancing with people is adorable and cute. A 200+ pound 22 year old? Not so cute and adorable. Perhaps this was my self-esteem issues kicking into overdrive. At least I got some good food and some exercise.  I think I would have preferred a family party, but it WAS her “sweet 16” party. I guess I should have expected friends to be there.

While we were there, the song “Everybody was Kung-Fu Fighting” came on (by my request) and my husband and his brothers fake-fought to the music and the trio was joined by a few cousins. I also saw my husband get eyed by the high-school girls while dancing… at least he has two brothers to distract them with as he explains he is taken. Haahaa. Just kidding. Too bad when he shaves the jailbait all think he is hott stuff and wanna go out with him. Sorry little 15-year-old girl with raging hormones, he is over 22 (is he 23 or 24 now? I forget…) and he is married. No matter what his clean-shaven babyface makes you think, it is the truth.

Tomorrow is family time! I will be helping celebrate my nephew’s one-month birthday and doing autumn-ey things with them. My sister’s girlscout troupe is going to the pumpkin patch and I was invited earlier today. Since I had no set plans for tomorrow (a few “maybe”s but nothing concrete) I decided to go with them. It will be a lot of fun! I may also get taken to a movie! 😀  If I go, I will have to write a review… maybe. Haaha.

Off I go to sleepyland. It is about 2am and rambling has gotten silly and less coherent. Maybe I am just taking things too personally or am too self-conscious, but I am definitely in that weird age between college and full-on-adulthood and transitioning between being “one of the kids” and “one of the adults”… maybe I will muse more later when I am in a better state of mind…



About N B

Artist, critic, friend, and rambly-ponderer.
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