…when you grow up? Sure, this question might sound strange because most of the five people that read this blog are grown up, although the one that lives in Calgary just never will, but the world would be a worse place without him, so we forgive him for that; however, in times of post-stress (or pre-stress, the old giving way to the new) I can’t help but wonder (sorry, a little Sex in the City never hurts to dramatize the point further, besides we’re all writers here, we steal from the rich and give to the poor) what does it all mean? Do we want to grow up? Are we grown up? How did we end up here?
When I went back to university at the young age of, uh, lets say theoretically, 12 (or so it felt like), a psychology class professor, in introducing herself to the class, and wanting to get to know her 150 students more intimately, asked us to fill out little recipe cards with our identities, and a few valuable tidbits of information about ourselves. Namely, what did we want to do when we were grown up? I turned to the baby beside me and said: I am grown up, aren’t I? She said no. Obviously not. But I said, what do I do if I’m grown up, and I don’t know what I want to do? Then, she said, you’re not grown up. Grown ups know what they want to do.
Indeed. It seems they do. Poet-thinkers seem to know what they’re doing. I read that in the Walrus this week, thanks to my neighbour Sandra Birdsell, who lent me the magazine, because at my age, I don’t think about buying subscriptions. Do I want to be a thinker? Ouch, that thought makes my brain hurt.
Well, as usual I know you’re thinking, where the hell is she going with this? Well, let’s put it another way:
Reporter: Tracy Hamon, soon you will have your Masters in English, what are you going to do then?
TH: I’m going to Disneyland!
Reporter: Seriously. How about a job?
Reporter: Yeah, you know. The paying kind.
TH: But I have a job. I work.
Reporter: But you have a degree.
TH: I will have two actually.
Reporter: But you need to make money! Let me ask you that question again, what are you going to do?
TH: I’m going to colony for the summer to think about it.
Reporter: No, you’re not equipped to do that, you need to get out there and repay your debt to society.
TH: My what?
Reporter: Don’t you want to see your kids prosper?
TH: Uh, they’re older than I am in this post.
Reporter: Don’t you want to actively participate in the workforce? To toil in a structured, unionized force, setting daily and weekly goals, striving to meet those goals and setting the lifelong challenge for yourself of working harder, faster, more efficiently.
TH: Uh, do I?
Reporter: Of course you do. Doesn’t everybody want to be somebody when they grow up?
TH: But, if I’m grown up, then I’m already somebody. Isn’t that enough?
Reporter: Hey, I’m the one asking the questions. That’ll cost you $50.
Reporter: You can owe me. Later. When you get a job.
Reporter: Who is the adult here?
TH: But what if I don’t know what I want to be?
Reporter: Tsk. Tsk. You should’ve thought about that before you grew up.
I met that reporter! I put my fingers in my ears and hummed. Eventually she goes away.
She does? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
I’m not tone deaf. Do you think that will matter?
I ask my dad how old he feels and he always says 12. He’s 78. Last fall I finally admitted to myself that I was grown up. My evidence? Preferring a spoonful of rum in my hot chocolate instead of a marshmallow.
I like marshmallows still.
It’s a tough road to be on. I still want my phoney/baloney life with scholarship money and time to write, and time to sleep, and time to play. I’ve worked long enough to get to the point where I don’t want to grow up–where’s my patron?
Tracy, maybe you should spend a little more time doing instead of all this thinking. 😀
That doesn’t sound like me. That sounds more like you.
And presuming—as I always have—that I am the centre of the universe and that you were talking about me (thanks, love being talked about and if you weren’t I’ll just stick my fingers in my ears and hum), I have a bigger problem than what am I going to do/be. It’s—what is the point?
I am having a real existential dilemma here. But, I suppose that’s not all that new either.
At least I still sound like me. So I got that going for me.
Exactly. What is the point?
I don’t sound like me?
Okay, I’m grooving on the fact that the m’s run off into nowhere. Perfect really for a hum.
I remember that post-M.A. reporter very well….Still get the odd call from the guy.
Colony sounds the perfect place to digest the M.A. ‘experience’….
Hey Shawna, colony will be good. I need a rest, and edtiing time, as well as writing time, thinking time, sitting time, and interesting people time (which will include you as I see you’ll be doing a workshop at St. Petes). It will be great to meet you finally.
Oh, I’d love to meet you! I’m sure we will cross paths some day, but the workshop I’m doing is on-line. It seemed to make sense to run a course on blogs via a blog etc. I envy you your sitting and reading time!
Ah well, indeed, one day we’ll meet when we least expect it. That’s the way life works for me! Good luck with the workshop; it sounds interesting.