aged matured, I’ve been shocked by the shifting dynamics in my family. Have people always been this crazy? Has tension always existed? I’m still not sure if the dynamics are actually changing as we get older, or if my perceptions are just broadening now that I’m an adult.
Remember when you watched Dumbo as a kid and the pink elephants were silly and you danced along to their song? But now, when you watch Dumbo you realize that someone was on drugs when they wrote that scene and you think, “Has this movie always been like this?”
When you’re young, you take things at face value. Relationships are simple. Even though you wrestle and scream at your siblings, you still have to sit at the dinner table with them whether you’re angry or not. Life was simple. Money didn’t mean much to you and things like clean laundry and dinner just magically appeared. But as time goes on, those simple things start to get convoluted. You can actually choose whether or not you’re going to sit at a table with your siblings. You realize that money is the most frustrating, exhausting thing in the world. And on more than one occasion you’ve eaten a plain tortilla for dinner because cooking is hard.
I can tell that there are places in my life where I’ve grown. I understand the work that goes into being a friend, being a sister, being a functioning member of society. And I’m slowly beginning to understand the work that goes into being a spouse. So, if I try really hard, I can look back into my life as a kid and realize that some of these things that seem shockingly different in my family have actually been there all along. I just thought they were silly and danced along to their song. And now that the details of life are within my adult perceptual world, sometimes I FELL LIKE I’M TAKING CRAZY PILLS.
It can be a tumultuous ride into adulthood as you learn that you now have to create your own boundaries, your own relationships, your own requirements for friendship and forgiveness and love. There’s no one that can force you to eat your green beans or make your bed or be nice to your sister. You have to decide to do all of those things yourself. And usually, those things end up being really good for you.