Drifting around somewhere between being a grown-up and a total dipshit, and somewhere between winter and spring. I have clear preferences in regards to both, but I ain’t tellin.
It’s all about the tangible shifts. The, “So, there it is,” moments. Leaving the door open and shutting off the heat, or, say, the time you felt closer in age to the middle schooler browsing vinyl in the neighborhood record shop than you do the guy your age working behind the counter.
I like the small-scale shifts and tend to hold them really sacred. Like the time my dad was teaching me to drive and I was slowly navigating the Suburban around our neighborhood streets like a gigantic war sub cruising around in a baby pool with him in the backseat. I’d dreamt about driving basically my whole life (I used to pretend my bike brakes were Porsche gear shifts) and so had a very set idea in my head of what it’d be like. I wasn’t even nervous. But—and rarely a day goes by I don’t think about this exact moment—I was completely off base in my perspective of the road. As in, while keeping my eyes on the center line of the road, I couldn’t properly align where the left tires were in relation to it.
I kept the lines visible off to my left, clear of the hood in my perspective in the driver’s seat. A mailbox whizzed by the right side of the car, and my dad told me to put it in park and get out. “Stop—just, stop the car. Stop it and get out, I want you to see something.”
I was a good 4 feet from the center line. I was more fascinated than embarrassed.
Whenever I drive, I consciously note the lines ticking off, their reflections sliding across the silver paint about a quarter of the way into the hood of the car—a lesson in trusting something other than what your eyes tell you to be true.
[This childish magnet is on the side of my fridge, and I usually forget it’s there until my parents come by for a visit.]
Simple adjustments in perception make being in both, either, or neither places more of an exercise in living in the now than a constant state of waiting.
The mirror is the most interesting place to formulate these theories. And for the most part, it’s still with fascination that I see all the ways my old methods of thinking were wrong, or just skewed.
I know that’s not all there is to growing up, but it’ll do for now.