I had this moment the other night where I thought, oh my god, I'm an adult. I'm in a strange country and people keep asking me what I do and I have an answer. I'm someone who does something. I'm someone who takes trips to see friends get married and who goes shopping with her partner for practical things like trousers that don't have holes in the crotch. Then I thought: I was born in Orange County. I live in Oxford. And now I'm at a mehndi-and-martini party in Toronto wearing a sari and sipping something alcoholic that tastes like lychee. I don't even know what a lychee looks like. How the hell did this happen? And I felt comfortably out of control again. Like, ha! Just kidding. You're not really an adult after all.
When I was little grownups were my friends. I didn't have any siblings, and mostly I was content just to wander around in circles outside the house, talking to myself, making up elaborate stories in my head, bouncing a ball against the wall until the rhythm drove my parents crazy, or at least until dinner. And I had friends, but I also had the grownups that my parents knew. Turns out that when you're a kid, grownups aren't so bad.
And also it turns out that when you're a grownup, you're not really a grownup. Maybe the whole secret of adulthood is that they made it up. It's like discovering that magic doesn't exist; but also a little like thinking you were bound for a prison sentence and finding out you've been let off, you're free to go.
Am I grown up yet? Does it matter?