a week's worth of odds + ends

11:39 AM

^ a target dresser I spiffied up with some anthro knobs ^
^ we're on a BIG madeline kick right now ^
^ goodies from the Russian store, including half-sour pickles ^
^ her newest obsession ^
The other day I made a quick decision to listen to the Nelly station on Spotify on our drive home. It was a brilliant decision. The words to all those songs instantly come back to papa bear and me (much to Birdie's chagrin, I'm sure) and it was like we are back in 2005, instantly. We begin to reminisce - first jobs, first cars, those lazy summers that seemed to stretch on endlessly, the guilt free fast food that we consumed with gusto and the way we rarely went to bed before two in the morning. Those were the good days we said, immediately feeling oh so old. "Everything these days is crap. The music. The movies..." I said out loud, surprised by just how crotchety that sounded coming out of my mouth. I was a sentence or two shy of "kids these days." It seems that just yesterday we were those "kids?" 
I wouldn't trade my life now to be 18 again, ever, but I find no shame in admitting I do dearly miss the days when the stack of bills on the table wasn't my responsibility, when someone else slaved in the kitchen three times a day to feed me (not the other way around), when my "paycheck" paid for gas and McDonalds and that McDonalds could be enjoyed without the pangs of guilt that now swiftly follow a bite of a cheeseburger. It's that constantly thinking, worrying, planning, organizing that never ever seems to stop that I wish I could trade. These days no matter what I'm actually, physically doing, I'm doing ten more things in my head at the same time - grocery lists, reminders, meal planning and the never ending "that is the sound of her getting into what?? bathroom vanity? kitchen cabinets??? bowl of keys?" It's all very tiring to say the least. 
And yet, ironically enough, with this responsibility comes a lot of freedom. The freedom of finally knowing who I am and what it is that I want, like, need. The freedom to create my own schedule, dream up my own meals and go at my own pace. I'd say all in all the trade off is a good one but that doesn't mean it doesn't have its downsides. It doesn't mean it's always so easy. Even if I were to go back in time I doubt it would be as pleasant as I remember since I'm not the same person anymore, I don't think I could turn off all that thinking even if I tried. I can't be that selfish because I'm not that stupid anymore - thinking homes take care of themselves, paying bills is just a matter of stuffing envelopes and that what you see is what you get. We get cynical and hardened, that's one way to put it. But we also get wiser and with that wisdom comes a layer of protection - you hurt less. I don't know about you but in my early twenties I was the most sensitive of souls. I could get angry at just about anything, cry at the drop of a hat and pretty much everyone was always "hurting my feelings." It's not that I'm any less emotional now, it's simply that I know who deserves those emotions and who doesn't, I don't, as my dad used to say "throw my heart out onto the highway" every day expecting to not have it smashed to pieces. 
Yin and yang, I suppose, good and bad. Becoming an adult is kind of like this giant exchange - you hand over certain freedoms in exchange for responsibility but you gain other freedoms too. You exchange reckless abandon for peace and a bit of security. A little bit of this for that. 
And in the end I was listening to Nelly, Chingy, Akon and JT circa 2000 with my two favorite people ever in the car, the windows rolled down and the sun forcing us to squint as we belt out the lyrics, and that is pretty darn awesome!

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