Wednesday, January 28, 2009

viva la vida

when i was younger, i was under the distinct impression that being a grown-up was way better than being a kid. because, obviously, as a grown-up you had no bedtime, there was no such things as "school nights," you could eat whatever you wanted for dinner and you had your own money that you could spend on whatever you wanted. also, you didn't have to deal with all the agonizing drama of high school, with all the petty rumors and fighting and hurt feelings and really, truly, i-am-not-exagerrating-mom broken hearts. because, obviously, as a grown-up those things just don't happen to you. and if, by some fluke, a trouble did come along, you could handle it with grace and ease because you were a grown-up, after all, and knew what to do all the time.

as it happens, some of these things are true. for example, i am eating red vines right now (and right now is dinnertime), plus i today i bought a bike trainer and a sweater i don't need.

but, as it happens, being a grown-up is also sort of complicated, a fact i learn more and more the longer i am one. there are bills and car maintenance and investment accounts and work schedules and worrying about what comes next. and there is also a different kind of agonizing drama, usually in the form of a continuing realization that, in fact, i have no idea what to do most of the time. the right words, solutions to hard problems and answers to big questions don't just come out of nowhere. at least not usually. every situation, every relationship, every experience comes with a learning curve. and they never stop coming.

i'm not saying that's bad. it's not easy, but it's not bad. sure, sometimes you just get it all wrong, and misunderstandings are had and feelings are hurt and there doesn't seem to be any way of going back and making things right. but sometimes there are really great moments, like when someone calls to sort out a big mess that had you worried and insecure for ages and you hang up the phone and feel so much better and think to yourself, "thank goodness we could work that out like grown-ups." or when you get a text message in the middle of the night that says, "you are a really good person," and you realize that you must be at least somewhere close to the right track.

i am learning to let go of the idea that some day i will know it all and get everything right. and, more importantly, i am learning to embrace the idea that the people around me are just doing their best, too. it's hard to remember sometimes, but we're all just muddling through, with the lessons and information we have, trying to tackle each new curve a little better and a little stronger than the last one. because that is what being a grown-up is all about.

and, red vines aside, i think it's pretty awesome.


Joelle said...

Are those your cute feet? You sure did grow up to be a fantastic woman!

Lacey said...

While I didn't know you as a child, you have grown up to be a fantastic woman, Frances. I'm glad you take being a grown-up seriously, red vines for dinner and all. :)

So, I don't know if you're an American Idol fan or not. I was just wondering if you saw Kirkham Choro and his friend the pink bunny tonight on the SLC show. Yep. Sasaga Kirkham Choro.

Amy Poulson said...

I adore you! You are better than you could possibly realize. And have the wisdom of sometimes 5x your age without any of the wrinkles. Fantastic.

frances said...

awww, thanks guys! and no, those aren't my feet. though i sort of wish they were. because they are cute.