Who’s Doing Well At A Time Like This?

M.B.
Human Parts
Published in
5 min readAug 9, 2023

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Photo by Katie Drazdauskaite on Unsplash

Read Part I in Human Parts here

Do you remember falling asleep on the couch as a kid and waking up to the television broadcasting static? The mesmerizing snow of nothing. No crisis. No news. Grey clouds that you could touch your fingertips to? Feel like you were seeing something you were never meant to see?

Most modern tv sets don’t have white noise anymore. The stories are constantly available. If I don’t like the story I’m half-watching, I can click to another one in 10 seconds.

Our brains somehow hold quite a bit of static and all the stories we’ve told about ourselves over the years. Few of those stories are original. Most are penned by people around us. We merely amplify them.

As a teenager (and early twenty-ish adult), you were “supposed to” be hip and cool and rebellious. I was decidedly none of those things. I don’t remember first calling myself grandma. I do remember multiple friends and family members pointing out habits of mine they found oddly amusing.

Crocheting baby blankets for friends. Reading on Friday nights. Going to bed promptly at 9:30 p.m. Calling everyone dear. Having regular afternoon tea. Writing snail mail notes.

Those things brought me joy, but I was (directly and indirectly) told I wasn’t the “right age” for those things. Some people would try to soften it. Call me an old soul. Call me so mature.

I wasn’t that either. The reasons why are a couple other stories. But I’ve been waiting to feel like an adult for years.

We could get into the postponement/outright refusal of my generation to achieve traditional markers of adulthood. That’s not me btw. Out of the degree/mortgage/marriage/kids, I’ve had 3 out of 4. They still didn’t make me feel adult. I felt like a child doing what they were “supposed to” do.

A friend once told me, “You’re an old soul, and I’m a bit of a brat.” And isn’t that the case for us all? We’ve all got that propensity for 3-year-old tantrums, 8-year-old silliness, 16-year-old rebelliousness, and 80-year-old wisdom running rampant through our veins.

This week, I’ve wanted to drive down, scoop that friend up, and take us both to Spain. (Never mind the fact that the gas alone for that trip…

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