I was never one to set a good example when I was younger. Instead, I was always the cautionary tale. I got suspended in high school for smoking in the bathroom, crashed my car before I even had my license, snuck out through my bedroom window on school nights to go meet up with boys, and I never, ever listened to my mother’s advice.
Needless-to-say, this “bad girl” phase lasted up until my junior year of college. It was then that reality struck. I was going to be graduating in less than two years, my GPA was horrendous, beer pong was the only recreational sport I played, and I had little to no work ethic. I did a complete 180 that year and actually started going to class, got a part-time job, interned at a publishing company, and called my mom more than once a month.
Now that I am in Adult Land, misbehaving has recently started to sound much more appealing. I’ve been wanting to rock the boat a little. I don’t want to start a riot or have discriminating pictures of me surfacing on the Internet, but I do want to cause a little ruckus.
This past weekend, my friend and I were in the checkout line at Target when all of a sudden he started telling me a crude joke. I immediately shushed him and motioned to all of the other people around us and he just shook his head at me and grinned and that’s when it dawned on me: I have become my mother.
I started recounting all of the things I do now that I never even thought I’d be doing two years ago: I scrub my kitchen floors weekly, I start dry-heaving if somebody belches in front of me, my soul dies a little every time somebody leaves grease marks on the stove-top, I have alphabetized my records.
Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of the items listed above. I just never thought I’d be one to care if Fugazi was in front of the Flaming Lips or that there was a dirty spoon still left in my sink. What have I become?
I feel that when people become adults, women especially, we throw entire pieces of ourselves away. We try to be these proper, dainty things that pay the bills on time and drive in the right hand lane. And if, God forbid, one of our male friends burps while we’re at a crowded restaurant, well, you can just shoot us right then and there.
I just wish that I could bring back a little of the 19 year old me. I was confused and distraught and angst-ridden, yes, but I had much more fun back then. Other’s opinions didn’t matter as much and I just did what felt right. Now-a-days, I’m so shackled by my own fear that I allow many, many fun opportunities to just pass me by. Or, I am too busy worrying, that I can’t enjoy myself in the present.
I also don’t take as much risks as I used to. I have become this reserved, habitual person that cannot allow herself to just take the plunge. And it sucks.
“Well-behaved women seldom make history,” the saying goes.
I want to make history, and sometimes I get the feeling that behaving myself all the time is just getting me into bigger trouble.