I’m thirty-five and by all accounts that is an adult-level age. But recently I felt very immature.
I went to my corporate job on causal Friday wearing an abstract Slytherin tee-shirt and chocolate colored scrub pants. This was because I’m obsessed with Harry Potter and Slytherin is my house and scrubs are comfortable as shit. At lunch, I went to the salon around the corner to get my hair trimmed. One of my co-workers was there and we made with the small talk in the waiting lounge. She is always very put-together and she is actually someone I admire. But I just felt utterly ridiculous sitting next to her. She also paid for a styling before she went back to work and I just left with wet hair, because, why not? And I have bangs. I have no idea what the cut-off age for bangs is, but I’m pretty sure I’ve passed it.
Smash-cut to after work and I’m buying wine at Fresh Market. I was carded, as usual, and the cashier did a double take and made note of how I in no way looked my age. In the past I have always assumed this was because I have nice skin and I do look a lot younger than I am. But now I am wondering if that’s what it really is. Do I physically look younger, or is it because I’m dress like I just got out of my English Lit class?
I do normally dress in a smart, business-casual wardrobe for work. But on the weekends I generally just wear jeans and a tee-shirt with some weird pop culture reference on it. Last night I went to a concert in a Kitten Mittons shirt. Aren’t other thirty-five-year-olds ladies wearing name brand blouses and khakis and taking their kids to soccer and eating tapas?
I’m not planning on ever having a baby. I like my life of independence and I like to spend my money on books and trips and my husband and my cats. I also don’t have a career. So right now, all I feel like I have is my writing, and I’m barely even doing that.
To get back to the title of this piece, my hair dresser told her husband that, after I had been in before, she got to cut April Ludgate’s hair. Because I remind her so much of the Parks & Rec character. April started out on that series as a 20-year-old intern in the parks department. Even a Zimbo quiz I took said I’m April. The result was thus: “You’re a tough cookie to crack, and only a few brave souls have burrowed their way into your snarky, seemingly icy heart. You don’t suffer fools and you don’t do small talk, but you would do anything for your loved ones – and cute puppies and kittens.”
While that descriptions is pretty accurate, it is still based on a character at least 10 years younger than I am. I’ve never thought of myself as immature before; usually I’ve been told I’m the opposite. However, I have been stressing about it and I am concerned that other people may judge me as such. Why do I care about what others think? Because I should be taken seriously and want to be. And I want to be silly when I feel like it. But I pretty much want people to get a certain idea of me at first sight and that idea should be of a mystery they have to take time to work. But, you know, a grown up mystery.
So I am now having an identity crisis. Who am I? No career, no kids. Aren’t these the things that are supposed to define women? If I don’t have those things, what do I have and how do I identify myself?
So I talked to my therapist about it and I’m getting my shit together. Hello, blog. Hello, world.