I'm Not A Grown-Up, YOU Are...

I always pictured myself taller as an adult.  Even when I was in college, working to be a teacher (and clearly as tall as I was ever going to be), when I would envision my own classroom someday, I was always taller.  More grown-upy.

Well, I am most definitely a grown-up now and I gotta say, I don’t feel any different than I did back then.  I am a married, mother of three tiny humans. Seriously, when did that happen?  I make decisions every single day about their well-being, clothing, nutrition and the really important stuff like screen time.  But I have yet to have a moment that made me think, “Ah, yes.  This is it.  I am an adult.”  I suppose there have been times when I felt it, but it’s always fleeting and leaves me feeling even more like Tom Hanks in “Big.”

As a writer, I have read a lot about “Imposter Syndrome” and it is very real.  One minute, I’m sitting at my computer, laboring over a manuscript and the next I have an overwhelming need to close my laptop and walk away, lest someone see me for who I really am – an IMPOSTER.  Just a mom fulfilling some suburban cliché: “hey, I have children, I should write children’s books.”  Of course, there is so much more to it than that, I reassure myself.  I have a degree in English, I have relentlessly researched the market, agents, publishers, the process, etc.  But none of that matters when Imposter Syndrome settles in.  (There is an AMAZING song about this from the musical [title of show].  You can find it here.  Just a bit of warning: NSFW.  There’s some language…)

Imposter syndrome is also how I would describe my relationship with being an adult.  I walk like an adult, talk like an adult (most of the time), but still don’t feel like one. I still call my Dad to affirm my big choices.  Of course, I don’t tell him that’s what I’m doing.  I call him just to “let him know” what’s going on. But really, I’m waiting for him to tell me it’s right.

It doesn’t help that there has been a massive cultural shift to bring back all things 90s.  (Did this happen to other generations?)  How am I supposed to feel like an adult, when Full House, Jurassic Park, and jelly shoes are all still a thing?  All I need is a pair of white Jenny McCarthy sunglasses and it might as well be 1997 by the pool, listening to the Spice Girls.  (That actually sounds awesome...)

Of course, all this is exaggeration.  I fully realize that I am an adult.  A mortgage-paying, SUV-driving, stroller-pushing grown-up. I guess I just wish I felt more like one most days, ha.  Or maybe I’m a kid at heart and should just roll with it?  Either way, there are going to be diapers to be changed and lunches to be made.  But I’ll probably have a peanut butter sandwich along with them, just to be safe.

Emily Ramquist