I kind of have Peter Pan syndrome. That doesn’t come as a surprise to my family members, I’m sure. I am the baby of my siblings after all. It’s hard for them to think of me as an adult, therefore it’s not easy for me to see myself as an adult.
Sure, I’ve traveled the country by myself and work multiple jobs and pay bills. But I have never felt like a grown-up. I still love the same things I loved as a kid: John Travolta and Adam Sandler movies, Jared Leto, Backstreet Boys, things that sparkle, bright colors, and eating off of small spoons. I have always tried to save animals (“Free Willy” was one of my faves) and loved to dance and cook. I even still play make believe, also known as writing novels.
I have not fallen in love (well anything mutually reciprocated anyway), had kids, or even learned to drive a car… or a bike for that matter. I can’t help but wonder if/when I have reached any of those levels of life if I will still feel like a kid?
With that said, the past few weeks have hardcore hit me with grown-up issues. I’ve been working as much as I can at the barista gig, as well as taking on as much as possible for new clients as a digital strategist, all while writing the final draft of my novel (“The Reunion“) before sending it off to the editor. On top of that, I’ve been dealing with scheduling Comcast to come out and hook up their awful service; and having them come back to fix whatever keeps going wrong. I’ve paid bills, rent, organized the house, and even got a big girl bed.
Pretty adult stuff, right? I thought so too. But I still feel like that Britney Spears song: “Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman”. What makes it worse is that I met a guy I found incredibly attractive. Nashville is full of cute guys, but I find my tastes are evolving. They can be drop dead gorgeous and super sweet, but I’ve spent plenty of time around guys that fit that description. I even had serious feelings for one, and it turned out to be a big letdown and underneath it all, he had no drive and misguided ideas of how life worked. He also didn’t care about what I ever wanted, it seemed.
Anyway, this new guy… we share a similar sense of humor, he’s from the North and loves Adam Sandler too! He didn’t have that Southern charm that makes me question if he was being genuine like so many people out here do. I figured he had to be in his mid-to-late 20s, and I figured so wrong! He’s the big one-eight. 18!!! How the heck…what? Ugh.
All this made me realize that though I may not feel it, I am older! I am, gasp, an adult and maybe a cougar! I can’t just date an 18-year-old. Well, I suppose legally I can, but after actually getting to know this guy–excuse me–kid, I realized that I REALLY am an adult! Or at least, somewhat of one… Who knew?! I mean, this guy is not in any way independent. He’s quite shallow and from offhanded comments he’s made, is very close-minded… oh, and he’s pretty much a downer.
The young Sandy Lo would feel sorry for this guy and would want to be the light to his dark days. The adult Sandy Lo knows better. I know that this guy would be a leech and instead of me brightening his days, he would dim mine.
The child version of myself would not know when to separate herself from things that could potentially harm her — like the wrong guy, too much junk food, not enough exercise, or keeping poisonous people and environments in her life.
So maybe I am an adult, and maybe that’s not a bad thing. You know what? Having a Peter Pan syndrome isn’t so bad, either. I can still be an adult and keep the “never grow up” mentality to keep me sane through all of the sucky adulthood problems… like realizing that kids today REALLY don’t know good music, movies, or how to interact face-to-face. Yup, I am most certainly a grown-up… who still carries her BSB lunchbox to work. 😉