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Faking It

March 17, 2011

(Photos taken with a BlackBerry camera, which is – ahem – somewhat lacking.)

What it means to be “a grown-up” is a question that has occupied a significant chunk of my wool-gathering, mind-wandering time in the years since I finished college.  As a child, the idea of grown-ups was pretty clearly defined in my head – grown-ups did things like buy houses and get married and have jobs titles like “lawyer.”  I knew how old my parents were when they got married, and that became my benchmark for when people were grown up.  They were 20 and 24.  Well, 20 rolled by during my junior year of college, and then 24 snuck around the back when I wasn’t looking. (I was pretty busy with law school at the time, so perhaps that’s excusable.)  Now, more than two years later, I have a job (with an office and the occasional business-casual attire and everything), plenty of student debt, a long-term relationship, and a puppy.  Looks pretty grown up, right?

I’m faking it.

Every time a client listens to my opinion, or a rental car company hands over the keys, part of me wants to raise the alarm at the top of my lungs – I’m not a grown-up!  What are you DOING, listening to me?  Are you nuts? I’m pretty sure my coworkers are going to figure out any day now that I’m totally shamming, that I don’t really have any authority or expertise, that I’m just a teenager with a better attitude and a diploma or two.  Maybe it’s partly growing pains – maybe sometime soon I’ll feel like a grown-up – but a while back I asked my dad how one knows when one has really reached adulthood.  His response?  “If you figure it out, will you tell me?”  Oh, my.

Maybe that’s why Wednesday nights are so important to me.  Here, I’m not faking it.  At knit night, I speak the language.  I share the skills.  I offer advice – and I’m sure of what I’m saying.  At knit night, mistakes don’t have lasting consequences, and there’s no one who will judge if the sweater I just bound off is more suited to a small hippo than to a 5-year-old boy.  Here, these are my people, and I’m not faking it.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. April 2, 2011 5:27 am

    I’m a stay at home mom to two kids And I don’t feel like a grown-up either. I think I’m glad for that.

    • Ashley permalink*
      April 5, 2011 11:51 am

      You know, I think I’m generally glad for it too. I think what I don’t like is the faking it part – can’t we all just be not grown up?

  2. April 5, 2011 9:51 am

    Love it. I had an entire conversation with one of my coworkers yesterday (fellow law ladies) about how we feel like we fake it 50% of every day.

  3. Ashley permalink*
    April 5, 2011 11:50 am

    I suspected that I wasn’t alone in this feeling, but I love that you’ve both confirmed it. Thanks for that!

  4. February 12, 2012 6:46 pm

    I just found your blog in a link from pintrest and wanted to let you know you made me laugh! I too share your feelings of faking being an adult, and Im glad to know it isn’t just me 🙂

    • Ashley permalink*
      February 12, 2012 11:18 pm

      You are very much not alone! One of the great secrets of adulthood, I’ve found, is that no one feels like they’re an adult. I find that oddly comforting. I’m glad to share a laugh with you, and I’m so happy you said hello.

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