I remember the exact moment I realized that adults are just people. I was seventeen and sitting in my elective sociology class. My teacher had spent the better part of an hour telling us that the song "Love the Way You Lie" was a representation of how broken and beat Rihanna was. That the only reason she would agree to be a part of a song that glamourized violence was because she was broken and her abuser had 'won'.
Now back in the day, I was very passionate, opinionated and was not afraid to speak my mind... before the anxiety really set in and before I began very carefully choosing my words in social interactions or not speaking at all in public because I knew it would lead to hours of worrying about what I could have/did/did not say. Side note: Until very recently I did not know that it was not 'normal' for the little man in your brain to sit at his desk and record every detail of every interaction you have throughout the day so it can be filed away for later review. Apparently you normies don't do that... weird.
Anyways, I listened to my teacher drone on, silently stewing at my desk. Maybe she was right, but I highly doubted it. Being a part of that song was a power move. Rihanna capitalized on a terrible and traumatic event. Her abuser might have left her bruised, but he didn't break her. She got the last laugh. Making millions of dollars off a song (can anyone say "BITCH BETTER HAVE MY MONEY"?) and asserting herself as a real player in the music industry while his career crumbled away. AMAZING! Rihanna was a badass.
So I politely put up my hand, and when the teacher called on me, I enlightend her. And when she didn't have a response, that's when it dawned on me. She's just a person, stumped by (or just very angry at) a seventeen year old who has no idea what she is talking about. Nothing separating the two of us except 10-15 years (and at that time I thought maybe 20-30 IQ points... gosh I must have been one giant pain in the ass to have in her classroom). It was a revalation to say the very least. And I swore that when I was an “adult” I would never be so oblivious and blind.
Flash forward eight years from that classroom and I am a RN carrying a code pager (they buzz you when someone stops breathing or their heart stops beating... kinda awesome and extremely terrifying all at once) for the first time. I had been on edge all night hoping it wouldn't buzz. And wouldn't you know it, when I finally let myself take a deep breath and relax around 0400h, that little fucker went off. The team that carries the code pagers are the experts in getting a heart beat back. They literally raise the dead. A well oiled machine. The people you want in the room when shit starts to go south. I had spent the last five years admiring these people. And now I was one? How the fuck did that happen? I don’t even make my bed in the morning. I’m going to have pizza for freaking BREAKFAST and I am being trusted with someone's life?! I distinctly remember feeling like a complete fraud.
Now I find myself more often than not looking around and wondering how the heck I got here. A *gulp* grown up. I have a career and a mortgage. What?! I don’t get carded at the liquor store and, I shit you not, I got mam’d at the freaking grocery store the other day. I was about to go get myself a cart when the cart boy looked at me and said “I’ll get you one mam... have a good day mam”. And before I could stop myself I thought, what a nice kid. Then I physically shuddered when I realized how “old” I am.
When I got home, I started ranting at Scott. Can you believe this kid? Calling me mam? We are practically the same age. And then Scott had the audacity to point out, “Well you are 30. You’ve been out of grade school as long as you were in it”. Now I love Scott, I’d jump in front of a bullet for him. But in that moment I did actually consider driving over his foot with my car by accident (on purpose), or making him sleep in the yard.
But he’s right. We are the adults now and I am not prepared. We are considering having children. We have investments and a vegetable garden. We bitch about taxes on the regular. I am not ready for this. I am just an overgrown child! I have a colouring book in my bedside table.
And now I am thinking that my muppet of a 11th grade sociology teacher and I have more in common than I’d like to think we do. Life zooms by and before you know it, you are that old person that doesn’t know who Camilla Cabella is (to be honest that might not even be her name... I read a headline the other day and apparently the kids these days love her.... although I don’t know what she does. And I don‘t actually care enough to figure it out).
And this leads me to believe that maybe we are all just overgrown children who have no idea what we are doing or how we got here. So, as ridiculous and cliche as this sounds, maybe we all need to be just a little bit nicer to one another and recognize that most of us just need a hug and a juice box. Although I wouldn’t recommend offering a juice box to your asshole boss when he goes off on you.... cause he’s probably just an asshole and you’ll probably get fired. Then you won’t be able to pay the mortgage. And you’ll lose the house. So you’ll move back in with your parents and realize your old bedroom isn’t nearly as big as you remember. You’ll make cold calls and try to find something, anything to get you a pay cheque in a field even remotely related to your overpriced degree. You might run into a friend from high school at the grocery store and when they ask what you’re up to you’ll start ge..... Sorry! The hamster got his foot stuck in the rungs of his wheel for sec there. Bottom line, don’t offer your boss a juice box when they’re cranky.
PS - Sorry for embarrassing you Ms. O. That’s my bad entirely and I can assure you that karma has COME for me and kicked my ass for calling you out in front of a room of ruthless 17 year old girls. Also, sorry for calling you a muppet earlier. Not to worry though. Karma will come for me again and I’ll step in dog shit or something later for that one.
PPS - It has been pointed out to me that some people will not get the "bitch better have my money' reference. Which makes me giggle because it kinda proves my later point... It's a Rihanna song and it is quite catchy. You should check it out. Or don't. You do you.