When I was in high school I worked at a tshirt shop on the boardwalk in Virginia Beach. Most nights when I got off work, I would walk to the water and just sit in peace for a while. I would think about what life was and what it would be, what I would be like, and how great being on my own would be.
Fast forward 20 years – I’m sitting at an extraordinarily chaotic Chick-fil-A, with sticky children screaming and frazzled parents talking over the chaos, and I just laughed out loud at the memory because being a grown up sucks.
A large pizza never stood a chance near me when I was in my 20’s. Now two slices has me avoiding salt for two days so I don’t blow up like a puffer fish.
I got fun mail in my 20’s like the enormous JC Penny catalog or post cards from friends on spring break. I can’t remember the last time I got anything other than credit card offers for limits 20 times my salary, bills and the ever present 20% off Bed Bath and Beyond coupon.
The bills keep multiplying the older I get, and especially the older my children get. They are expensive little boogers, precious but expensive.
The yard work is no longer a chore you get an allowance for. The grass has to be cut, the kids are too little to mow, so that leaves you. The weeds that I never noticed when I was young now scream obscenities at me when I drive up to the house. The trimmed and lovely vision I have in my head seems impossible because the maintenance is out-muscling me.
And then there is the occasional gag-provoking job that makes you yell for your mother/father in your head.
The toy that accidentally falls into a toilet full of awfulness that must have died inside your child before coming out. And you get to fish it out.
The drain that gets clogged with some kind of science fiction hair ball that looks slimy enough to come alive and pop out of Sigourney Weaver’s chest.
And finally, when you are sick -I mean seriously sick or in real pain – I don’t care how old you are, a part of you reverts back to being little and wants a parent to be there when it’s time to take your medicine but it’s all the way over there and you don’t have a drink.
So if I could go back to that beach and sit with my high school self… I would pop her in the back of the head and tell her not to blink. Time flies the older you get.