The Girl in Black

Se necesita una poca de gracia.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

When do you start feeling like a grown up?

I review my life accomplishments from time to time, trying to find some sort of feeling of pride and self-sufficiency. Something to say "I've arrived at 'maturity'" (which isn't necessarily being a mundane "adult" type individual).

To review:

I am living entirely on my own with no financial support from family, roommates, or boyfriends.

I have purchased my own computer, and various computer accessories. (My brother's assistance with the latest acquisitions doesn't count, as I had purchased the initial computer myself beforehand.)

I have the experience of two art shows featuring all of my own works.

I lost a fuckton of weight, and have actually been keeping it off for the most part.

I have a college degree.

I have a full time "real" job with a salary and everything.

I have acknowledged that a) I have had a lifelong struggle with mood disorder and b) I have been getting help with that (again, all on my own)

I have a life

And yet, none of these things has made me feel like the mature person I think I should be feeling like. Self-sufficient, somewhat accomplished, able to make big life decisions. Until recently, that is.

For some reason, my recent little clothing shopping spree excursion has made me feel more mature and responsible than anything else on the list. It sounds a little shallow perhaps, but I've been breaking it down and it makes sense. I am making important decisions about how I will present myself to the rest of the world (at least at work). Decisions that balance out my personal style vs. a "professional" look. Investment decisions in well-made clothing that will last and help me look my best vs. cheap clothing that will stretch and wrinkle and ultimately make me feel horrid.

There's also the satisfaction of being able to tell the neurotic penny pincher in myself that I not only need these clothes (honestly, I have needed better clothing for a while now), but by spending a little more on the right things I won't be unhappy later and want to buy more things. (And I do still look for sales, although "sale" seems to hardly be such anymore.)

And now that I look like I want to, in clothes that make me look good (and that actually fit again) I feel better. I honestly do. It's amazing!

I suppose it's mainly because this is something tangible to me, something that I know and understand. It's not playing "dress-up" anymore, as opposed to the feeling I have had of "playing house" in my own apartment. That has gone away as well, but I've done the living-out-of-my-parents'-house-and-payi

ng-the-bills thing for so long that it doesn't seem to be that much of an accomplishment. (Taking pride in my apartment and cleaning it and stuff actually does give me a sense of maturity and responsibility, however.)

So here's to becoming mature, and not just playing "grown up."


  • At 7:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What I find interesting in life is how quickly people loose interest in something that was once important, only to replace that interest in something else that becomes important, in an almost never-ending cycle.

    Any thoughts ?

  • At 10:44 PM, Blogger The Fabulous Miss Rose said…

    Meh. *shrugs* Life is a never ending cycles within neverending cycles. Themes echo throughout our years, and some interests fade to be replaced by others, and sometimes those interests are revisited. Speed is added or detracted as needed depending on the individual.

    I myself do sometimes feel rather fickle. And yet at the same time I hang onto certain interests with an unwarranted iron grip. It depends on which way you shift your focus.

  • At 9:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yep. Cycles in cycles. A concentric spiraling of themes throughout one's existence.

    Can I ask how do you shift your focus ? Or jump to the next circle ?

    I sometines find myself getting stuck, like a skipping record?

    Any advise ?


  • At 1:37 PM, Blogger The Fabulous Miss Rose said…

    Well, I meant that if you shift your focus you'll see me as either fickle or obsessive, but anyway...

    Hmm... I'm assuming that you're talking about things that you notice keep happening, like the way all your relationships seem to go, or the types of jobs you end up in, or something. If not, let me know what you're really talking about, and I'll come up with another long-winded answer. ;-)

    Getting out of stuff like that isn't always easy at first, but when you get used to it it's not so hard necessarily. Even if the answers aren't always the same. But first things first. You have to seriously, honestly want to change, be willing to change, even if you don't know how to do it, and have a small suspicion that maybe you really are capable of being that awesome/responsible/whatever person you never thought you could be.

    It's a big puzzle to put together. First you have to recognize the similarities in the repeating situations (which I think you've done), then you have to start asking yourself questions like "What am I getting out of this?" You're looking for answers like "It makes me feel unwanted," or "It makes me feel like I can't do a good job." I'm being really general here, but it's basically things that reinforce the negativity in the situation.

    The thought I tend to follow these days is that everything that happens in our lives is something that we drew to ourselves to reinforce what we subconsciously think about ourselves.

    So, once you know what you're getting out of your repeating pattern, you have to ask yourself what you get out of what you're getting. For instance, "It makes me feel unwanted." "Well, why do I want to feel unwanted?" "Because I'm unloveable/horrible/whatever."

    And once you know what you're really getting out of this pattern, you have to find a little zen-like spot of objectivity where you can look at ridiculous thoughts of not being good enough somehow and say "Gee, that's silly. I don't need to think that about myself anymore. I'm actually deserving of love/a capable human being/deserving of good things/etc." Sometimes it helps to know where the thought came from, sometimes it doesn't matter.

    And then it's all about "lather, rinse, repeat." You have to keep reminding yourself that you are, indeed, awesome. And it takes a long time to get used to. It took me years to finally get a decent shred of confidence in myself. (It was pretty daring of me to name myself "The Fabulous Miss Rose" at the time I did.) And I'm still working on it. But it's getting easier.

    And there's also the matter of actually fixing things in reality. It's not entirely in your head. I had to bite the bullet and go to therapy "for real," and get over my distrust of psychiatric medicine so I could get some decent help. And yeah, the meds are working great and no, I'm not going to stop unless my psych and I both agree it's a good idea.

    But things tend to fall into place a little easier when you accept who you are, and that you want to change certain parts of that, and that you honestly want a happier life. But watch out for radical life-changes like losing friends, jobs, having to fight others' views of you to establish your own identity.

    (I get a lot of these wacky philosophical views from "You Can Heal Your Life," "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway," and "Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting." All self-help books of the touchy-feely sort. If you're into that, look 'em up on

    Does that help at all?


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