Sunday, August 3, 2008

Had the family down for the weekend

It was weird. I love them all but there can't possibly be a more explosive way to cohabitate. In between showing off ("Watch me get 15% off at el pollo loco." "Watch me banter in spanglish." "Check out my bilingual disney church." "This is my officially condemned oven." "I can make my bed." "These are my paintings." "I have television." "Look, I can open this cash register." "I can iron clothes." "I can hang curtains." "Check out my complete inability to navigate this town in a car.") and just all the minutiae of proving that I'm well adjusted and All Grown Up, I kept reverting to being a 12 year old fighting with my 7 year old brother. "My house, my rules" must have come out of my mouth ten times in the two days. I think we fought about who had to do dishes, about what to have for dinner, about playing acoustic guitar hero, about the dvd to watch, whether to go to church- every single thing. Mom was good about not treating me like a kid, so that was nice- even though I was being sort of childish. I just remember at Nick's age my life was made of rules, and since he's the baby they more or less coddle him. I know it doesn't feel like that to him. I see that he doesn't have any obligations beyond pokemon and cardio and tidying his room, and he sees that I live alone and can buy whatever I want and stay out as late as I want and he does have a point.

So much of life with parents is just because they need you to grow up into a responsible person. I have found a mix of things that I maintain since I'm in charge of prioritizing my own life now. Some of my values from childhood are still very important to me, like avoiding substance abuse and attending mass and eating responsibly and respecting people. Some things that were non-negotiable when I was little are completely at odds with what I'm willing to do. I am thinking mainly of my sleep schedule- i moved out recently enough that it feels exciting (shut up) to stay up all night painting and then have cinnamon rolls as breakfast. Because they (the safeway kind) are really about the same as cereal in price and sugar and everything. I am going to buy things I don't strictly need! Because they make me happy! I am going to tan in the sun every week! I am going to buy music that has cusses in it! I am going to paint my fingernails indoors!

So yes, I think I have more freedom than Nick, but he has so much freedom compared to me at that age. They made me go to 8th grade, they made me go to bed at 10 every night, I wasn't allowed to date until I was 16, they never had keggers in the backyard, we lived in a sleepy little town...

If this post seems really long it's because I am at work at the hostel, supervising some tourists.

I have decided to consciously change two things about how I parent myself now that I get to. One thing is that I am allowed to have a little bit of slack even though it seems wrong! I have never been smart at practical things, so right now I am shocked that I can more or less function in daily life and then take on as much extra as I want. I mean, I was 8 years old before I could tell what day of the week would be next. I remember up until I was 16 or 17 life was a bit of a confusing jumble of events and I had to live very much in the immediate present- I would make plans and have no way of implementing them without help. So, liberated from that I feel like I should work a 70 hour week, major in two things, catch up on a lifetime's worth of achievements I let pass me by. But it isn't very sustainable sometimes, so I am letting myself have slack. I am going to get a new place to live before I have to move out of this one, for example. I am going to spend 4 years at college if
I have to (I had a year head start in units)I am going to sleep in on my day off.

The other decision is what I have more or less explained in this post- I am going to do what I want. I think I am going to work on having a really darling artistic room when I move this september. Because there's no reason not to. It is going to have candles and a purple princess mosquito netting canopy for my bed and possibly a sheepskin rug. I think I am going to have an art table and a litt

1 comment:

Robert van de Walle said...

Yes, so very grown up... why are there Jellie Bellies all over the interior of my car? The floor, the seats, even inside the door handles... did you experience a candy storm when I wasn't looking?