Older and wiser


 When I was a kid, I had no idea what the adults were talking about most of the time.  I wanted desperately to figure out what was going on.



In high school, and in college, I realized that – inside – I did not feel like a grownup.  I was faking it.  I monitored everything: what I said, what I did.  And I fell short.



Graduate school: even worse.  I felt like a terrible poser, and completely inept as a human being.



Then working in a real job, and then in the Peace Corps, and then working again.  Inside, I still felt five years old.  I managed to fake it once in a while, but I still felt like a kid.






Recently I took a friend to lunch, and she told me, in her funny rushing confidential way, the very sad story of her mother’s recent passing.  And I commiserated with her. 



And I realized, about halfway through, that I didn’t need to worry about acting like a grownup anymore. 



For one thing, I’m just too old to worry about it anymore.  And that’s one of the secrets I didn’t know: you don’t learn it.  It just happens, with age and experience.



And for another thing, we were talking about deaths in the family, and cleaning the house and throwing things away and dealing with grief and guilt. These are things I know first-hand.  No problem.



So, at last, I find I can talk and act like a grownup.



And all I really want to do is be a kid again.



Go figure.


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