Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mini-Markers of Adulthood

Today's big plan, besides procrastinating on a short story for creative writing, was to correct my credit report with Transunion and fix the tabs option on my US Bank online account. Prompted by the advice of a close older friend, the moment that I became eligible for free annual credit reports, I set up an schedule to check out all three. And not just check them but check them carefully, one report at a time, spread out at four-month intervals.

Dang. I was on top of things. I was focused. I was proud.

But chaos theory has, once again, conquered my personage, and when I went to check my meticulously-planned credit report last night, I found out that Transunion has me living in my home town, going to school in Chicago, and working in Kirksville. And to top it off they have my birth year wrong, which means I'm younger in some circles. It also means that I can't simply file the corrected information online; I have to fill out forms and send hard copies of vital documents.


I am resolved to be optimistic- so I've done some contemplation on the matter, and I think that I've managed to find the humanity of it all. I postulate that this experience is one of those weird little markers of adulthood.

I know it seems silly, but prior to this realization, this incident really did affect me. What can I say, I'm impressionable sometimes.

Anyways, these "markers" always catch me by surprise because I like to consider myself a perpetually free-spirited adolescent-- someone who would never take pleasure in possessions over feeling. Or pay attention to FICO scores, for that matter.

All I'm saying is that these little experiences that used to remind me of what I consider adult and inhumane (and therefore alien) have now become part of, well, who I am.

Are these little moments true epiphanies? That seems to be such a self-important word for such small pauses of adjustment.

Let's hope not. Goodness knows I'd much rather concern myself with the likes of more Bohemian-centered ideals when considering life-changing forces.

I suspect, though, that everyone at this age is starting to have these small, idiosyncratic moments that prompt thoughts such as:"huh, that was a very adult thing to do" or "wonder what that means?" And in some ways, I can see how these realizations might be considered supremely important because they help us define our adulthood, our individual goals and values, and how they differ from what we've been told adulthood should be.


Ergo, rather than pay attention in class today (because I felt like I've been told and retold the same academic material for the past four years of my life) I scribbled a list of idiosyncrasies.

So, without further ado, I present:

Mini-Markers of Adulthood

--I realized today that I can't remember the last time I ran out of toilet paper (or hand soap, for that matter.)
--I took my first "vacation" alone this summer. And by vacation I mean my first solo trip (a preliminary interview with F&H in Chicago) -solely for business- and not pleasure. I did not go see the Field Museum. This was the first time that have ever consciously allowed that to happen.
--During a recent fight in a friendship that was going really badly, I said "No, I don't think we should be friends," rather than over-analyzing, torturing myself, and going through the expected social script of forgiveness and redemption.
--I wrote down questions for my doctor and chose my own treatment for scar tissue in my colon, rather than letting the doctor dominate. That also had to do with the fact that I was being treated in Kirksville. But still.
--Every day I'm closer to paying off all my credit-card debt. Albeit by working in a bar. But hey- money's money.
--I've downloaded and re-watched the first five seasons of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. For pleasure. And I usually knit when doing so.
--Yesterday I chose one piece of Vosges chocolate over a big bag of M&Ms.
--I've become a CNN junkie rather than a MTV/VH1 junkie. And not just because of the election.
--I called in sick to work two weeks ago because I was actually sick. And then I preceded to soak my feet in a milk bath and eat chicken soup offered by a good friend.
--I paid for a pet-sitter. By choice. And Viola was groomed. I'm sure she liked it, too.
--In Chicago, while eating by myself at a fancy restaurant this summer, I tactfully sent back food without regret and without feeling a need to over-tip the wait staff.
--On Friday I scrubbed the floors of my bathroom on my hands & knees, and yes, used a toothbrush.

I'm not bitter about any of these, par say. "Out to sea" is a better way of putting it.

I'm sure that there will be many more to come as the year progresses.

In which a shadowy freedom fighter known only as "E" uses intellectual terrorist tactics to fight against her totalitarian society.