I wasn’t good at being a kid.
To clarify, I’m not saying I wasn’t a “good” kid.
On the contrary, I was a freakishly good kid most of the time, weirdly good, unnaturally good, does-the-whole-family’s-laundry-without-being-asked-to-good.
(No one believes me when I say that kind of stuff. But if you were to ask my mom, she’d back me up. My brother would too though he’d probably tell me to stop bragging about doing the laundry, because it’s really not that big of a deal and I’ve been talking about it for close to 20 years.)
But, anyway, aside from some (to be expected and perfectly normal) occasional bouts of jerkiness in my early teens, I was an exceptionally well-behaved child.
Despite what my brother might claim, I’m not saying this to brag. For one, that’d be a really stupid thing to brag about and secondly, I’m not entirely sure it was a good thing.
If I could do it all over again, I’d tell Kid Me to loosen up, tone down the Type – A behavior a bit.
This isn’t because I want to make things harder for my parents, though it inevitably would. It’s just I don’t think I took full advantage of childhood the first time around, which is no one’s fault but my own.
I was weird and I had seriously screwed up priorities. When most kids were out, I don’t know, doing whatever normal kids do – playing or something, probably, I was busy scheduling my summer vacation days like some kind of deranged mini event planner on steroids.
Thanks to my general perfectionism (which has largely worn off with age as I’ve gotten progressively lazier) and my tendency to read discarded women’s magazines as though they were some sort of instructional manual on how to live a happy life — I was obsessed with productivity as a child.
I would schedule my summer vacation days like this — 8:30 a.m., wake up; 9:15 a.m., healthy breakfast (such as fruit); etc.
See, told you I was weird.
I wish I hadn’t been like that then but it’s too late for Kid Me now. I’m almost 30, like it’s days away, 30.
I never thought I’d be 30. I’m not saying that in some morbid way. I had no logical reason to believe I wouldn’t make it to my thirties. I just never saw myself becoming that age, because it seemed to me then that 30 was a proper, adult, age. A proper, adult age where I’d have, to not put to fine a point on it, my shit together.
And now that I’m almost here. I can say that I most assuredly do not, as they say, have my shit together.
Because at the end of the day, I basically feel like exactly the same person I was at 11.
I’m maybe one inch taller, a whole lot heavier, I can drive and I now talk about things like mortgage rates and retirement plans (with very little understanding of either) but other than that, I still feel, well, 11.
And I’m not entirely sure that is normal.
I realize I am now doing that thing everyone hates about millennials – our perpetual adolescence thing, where we whine about the realities of adulthood while we try to cling desperately and unsuccessfully to our youth when things were easy and our parents made all our hard decisions for us.
I realize this gets annoying which is why I’m now going to allow Andy Dwyer from Parks and Recreation (a.k.a. Chris Pratt) to talk for me so it’s less annoying and coming out of a better-looking face.
Watch this please.
This is how I feel.
I feel like Andy if you replace all of his references to his fancy London job with the words “life in general” and remove the part about him not knowing what is and isn’t a toilet. I know what is and isn’t a toilet. I’ve got that much figured out.
Also, I’m not a man and I’m not that much like Chuck Norris.
Other than that, though, Andy feels exactly like I feel – like I have no idea what the hell I am doing.
This is the part of my blog posts where I usually try to turn what I’m saying around and end on some perky note. But I’m too lazy for that now.
So instead, I’ll just say, in the off-chance you happen to feel anything like me and Andy Dwyer right now – just know that you’re not alone.
And in the words of my favorite, fictional heroine, April Ludgate-Dwyer: “You are awesome and everyone else sucks.”
At the end of the day, whether you’re 30 or 11, that’s pretty much the only thing any of us really need to hear anyway.