Friday, November 4, 2011

The Adulthood Lobby

I am currently spending some time waiting in the lobby of Adulthood. I don't feel like a full-grown adult yet because I am still trying to "figure it all out." And so I hang out in the lobby.

The lobby of Adulthood can sometimes feel as bad as when you have the flu and feel terrible and gross and have to wait 45 minutes in the Med Express lobby, only to get called back to one of those cold rooms and they make you wait even longer for the doctor to come in :pause for breath: So you feel sick, cold, gross, and now agitated because you just want some medicine and to go home and sleep, but you can't. You have to wait.

The lobby of Adulthood can sometimes be sort of like that.

And I don't like to wait. Ask anyone who has to go to a restaurant with me when I am hungry. It gets ugly. I get whiney. Unless there's a bread basket. Bread baskets are a win.

Anyway, now that I am done with school and waiting in the lobby of adulthood, I get a lot of those "next-step questions" from people. Or, as I like to call them, questions-that-make-me-feel awkward-because-I need-to-provide-an-adequate-answer-to-show-I-am-doing-something-with-my-life. People are just asking me these questions because they care about me or are curious about what I'm doing, which is nice, but sometimes answering them isn't as easy as it should be. I feel pressure.  The answers should be black and white, but  I can't answer them in black and white because I am in major gray territory. it gray? Grey. Gray. Okay, I Googled it. It's grey. (Fact: There is a website called Lucky me).

Those next-step questions remind me of college exam questions because I end up having to say a lot more than I originally thought I would. For example, for college exams, the professor would say, "The exam is all essay; there's only three questions." I would be all geeked that there were only three questions and no true and false (because let's face it, everyone hates true and false, especially when you have to explain why it's true or why it's false). But when it would be time to take the exam, I would look at the first question and it would appear like this: 

"1. Describe the family systems theory. What are it's strengths? It's weaknesses? Give an example of how family systems theory could affect a conflict in your own family."

That is four questions in one.  Four. So out would come my pencil, and just my luck, I would have the old school kind of pencil that I had to sharpen, not the cool clicky lead pencils, and I would begin to compose a novel of an answer. I would shake my hand furiously as my fingers would cramp up, both my pencil and my mind losing their sharpness. Up I would go to sharpen my pencil. People would look at me. I would sigh as I looked at my lined-paper, thinking, "I thought there was only three questions."

My exam answers always ended up being much longer than I originally planned, which is the same with the common life questions I get asked because I give grey answers. Grey answers are very long. They are long because I feel like I need to defend the fact that yes, I DO have a life, and it's great, and it's everything I hoped it would be. But the truth is, I'm in a transition phase, and transition phases aren't always fun.  I think we all have to wait for that next big break, or that next big sign, or that next big...whatever.  And so, while waiting, I must answer questions about what exactly I am doing.

The good thing is I have had a lot of practice giving answers, because people's questions are usually the same:

Top 5 Questions I Get Asked:

"What are you doing now?"

"Any luck on the job search?"

"What would you do, if you could do anything? What's your dream job?"

"Where are you living?"

"Are you dating anyone?"

And so my answers will be like, "The job search is going okay; I am looking every day and really trying to network with people, but with this economy, I am definitely feeling the struggle, but I am hopeful and trying the best I can, so..." or "No, I'm not dating anyone, but I don't want a boyfriend right now because I am just trying to figure out where my life is going and what I am going to be doing, and I don't think I have time for a boyfriend right now anyway, and it's because..."

And so on and so forth.

Overall though, I think I need to accept the fact that it is OK to not have all the answers right now. None of us know where our lives are going. We can plan all we want, but one decision can change everything, one person, one phone call.  As a Type-A, planner person to my core, sometimes waiting in this lobby of adulthood can be frustrating. But I have faith it will all work out.

Until then, I will continue to bore people with my long answers. Or just buy a T-Shirt that says, "I don't know." Because let's face it: who does?


  1. you can get that t-shirt at the Gap

  2. love this! will keep reading! keep posting! read mine at