Paradoxically, one of the things that makes me anxious about a lot of “adulting” is having to ask for help with it or admit that I’ve messed something up, because the idea of being seen to be “bad at adulting” bothers me so much.
Tonight I was thinking about how I kind of do have a history of being treated as younger than I am, or being afraid that I’ll be treated that way, in a lot of different contexts.
I spent way too much of my later childhood/teeneageness being embarrassed about things like:
— buying “kids’ meals” at restaurants
(because it was familiar or because I actually didn’t like the other options)
— using kids’ toothpaste
(because I didn’t like mint and kids’ bubblegum was the only other option for a long time)
— wearing clothes that were either actually from the kids’ department not the teen department
(it took me a long time to accept the idea of flare jeans) or were just generally unfashionable (although this was mostly a free choice on my part. I didn’t want to be fashionable because it felt like making a statement that I didn’t understand, and I felt more negatively about the possibility of accidentally being the wrong kind of fashionable than I did about visibly not trying to be fashionable.)
— watching kids’ TV
(I don’t think my tastes were actually particularly behind my age group, but there were a lot of things that were popular with my age group that I didn’t watch. I remember really hating the double-bind of referencing things other people had never heard of, or referencing “younger” things that used to be popular.)
— not drinking soda
(IDK why I thought of that as a juvenile thing, but I did.)