This post is accompanied by sunsets and sunrises just because.
I suffered a lot from I want to be a grownup syndrome when I was younger. Suffered hard. I wish I knew where it stemmed from, why it started. I wish I’d enjoyed being a child more, enjoyed the simple freedom and innocence of that time.
But in reality, I was dreaming about becoming an adult already when I was about ten. I watched the older girls at school and women out and about and my sister and her friends and just wished. They had their flats and their glasses of wine with friends and their bills and their grocery shopping and their jobs and their boyfriends who could stay over whenever and their nights out… So much adulting that I wanted to be a part of right now.
I wrote a post, over a year ago now, about how I dreamt and dreamt and then when those changes I’d dreamt about for so long finally trickled in, I was too wrapped up to notice. That realisation prompted my incessant journaling about time and anxieties about life passing me by. It prompted my new habit of writing down little things that make me happy every day so I’m more present in each day, in each moment.
I’m caught up again though. Caught up in that yearning for adult. Caught up in my head, in those dreams, picturing a future that feels so far away and that I’m anxiously chasing. I’m not just chasing things though, I’m chasing a woman I want to be. A woman I can picture so clearly in my mind’s eye, who is everything I want to be and feel I’m not. I measure myself against her, this imaginary better version of me, this imaginary woman version of child me – because I still feel hopelessly like a child. I’m so obsessed with her that I make myself miserable sometimes by comparison, constantly feeling inferior and lacking against someone who doesn’t even exist.
If I could paint her for you… Her name is Larissa and she’s twenty-two. She walks with the comfortable gait of someone who is at home in her own body. She takes up all the space she needs and knows she deserves. She doesn’t fidget because she is calm in herself and in her body. She knows where she’s going and where she’s from. She knows where she is now. She knows what she loves and likes and doesn’t like and hates. She knows her values and priorities. She is poised. She gets up at 7:30 every day. She goes to the gym three times a week. She never forgets to take her thyroxine and her calcium and her vitamin D. She does morning yoga to stretch and ease her body into the day and then she meditates to stretch and ease her mind. She loves early mornings alone with her dog and a cup of tea and frosty windows watching the sunrise. She is always kind and being nice as much as she can is her biggest life priority. She doesn’t spend idle hours napping or re-watching Friends reruns. She is always in control of her finances. She reads books all the time. She finds fun new things to do around London and takes her friends to. She’s moved out of her family home and into a flat with two of her closest girlfriends and it’s the loveliest place. She gets a Distinction in her MA.
There’s more, so so much more. I could go on forever about this woman I compare myself to. Some of these bits of her are actually me, the best version of me that I love. Some of these bits will never be me because they’re unrealistic or just harsh judgments of someone who’s only human at the end of the day. Some of these bits will be me, someday.
I feel sorry for the child me, though. She’s constantly judged and criticised and put down and feels small and inferior and wants to cry and is unbearably frustrated – and she suffers all these things at my hands and no one else’s (mostly). I am my worst critic. And one day, when life happens and things happen and experiences happen, I will realise that the child in me I resent so much at the moment has finally disappeared. And I didn’t even notice. And I won’t be able to get her back. And I’ll mourn another part of my life that’s passed me by.
So tonight, I’m going to get into my silly flannel pyjamas and eat the chocolate fingers snack I’ve obsessively adored since I was three and cuddle my dog and watch a favourite childhood movie and laugh and cry and FaceTime my parents so they can coddle me and have a silly chat with my big sisters about when we would have ridiculous sibling fights… and love that child in me for once.
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