According to my parents, I suffer from Peter Pan syndrome. In other words, that are less colorful and are not associated with a fabulous place called Neverland: I refuse to grow up and assume the responsibilities that come with it. Are they correct in this? No! (Read: Yes!) Do I have a defense? Of course!
As a single woman in New York City who is without children and an office 9 to 5 job, I pretty much do whatever I damn well want. I could say that I’m the same person I was in college except I don’t have an 8am Anthropology class to skip and ultimately fail, but that’s not entirely true. I have evolved since those days in a few ways that include no longer consuming Top Ramen on a daily basis and I no longer dye my hair every color under the sun when my mood calls for it. Personally, I feel that these are big steps for someone who got a tattoo on her wrist at 20 years old so as to make sure that I never fell into the corporate world and always stayed “young” even when the wrinkles started. I blame this thinking on having read too much Oscar Wilde who championed youth and beauty as if it’s the greatest thing in the world. And is it not?
The day I noticed my very first grey hair two years ago while trying on clothes in a dressing room the sobs that followed were close to uncontrollable, so to make up for it I marched out and got another tattoo. Not that a tattoo was going to make up for the grey hair that my both my friend and I feverishly tried to rip from my head that day, but it was at least “something” I thought would help stave off the impending doom of aging which involves, of course, growing up.
However, in the past year I’ve decided I want to appear more grown-up, even if you look slightly under the surface I’m far from it. I think this feeling is coming from my younger sister (by only 16 months) who is married with two children, a new Volvo, a brand new home — that they own — and this sense of security that comes with things like a full savings account and the responsibility for a life other than your own. There’s also the fact that many of my friends no longer want to meet at 11pm to go out and have fun; no, they want to have dinner at 7pm and be in bed by 11pm. Although it’s a difficult transition for me and some days, I find myself resenting them for it, I’m doing my best to actually adhere to this new phase in my life. Unlike Peter Pan I don’t have a Neverland to escape to, and unlike Dorian Gray, I have yet to be asked by a sinister entity to trade my soul for my youth. Although you better believe if either option were available, I’d go for it.
I’m no expert, of course, but here are a few things I’ve implemented that seem to have fooled people into thinking that I “think” I’m an adult, or at the very least, I have embraced the inevitable.