Do you remember when you thought adults had it all figured out? When you would look at your parents with envy and awe that they knew everything and they were allowed to stay up past 10 pm?
And then one day you reach the age they were then and you realize that you’re just beginning to figure stuff out.
And that’s on the good days:)
We won’t even talk about the bad days when it seems like you’ll never have your sh*t together.
My parents divorced when they were around the age I am now.
And that’s a strange feeling.
I was young enough at the time that I still thought my parents walked on water. It was impossible to wrap my head around the idea that these two people that seemed to know what they were doing in all other areas couldn’t make marriage work.
Because in eyes of a young child, marriage is pretty simple – I do, you do. Done.
And now that I’ve been through the end of a marriage and I also hear 40 knocking at my door, I see it so differently.
And I see them so differently.
They’re not the people who could do no wrong that I saw as a young child.
And they’re not the people who could do no right that I perceived as a teenager.
They’ve become people that I can now identify with and empathize with, at least as far as that phase of their lives.
I can now understand some of that anxiety my mom felt trying to keep it together when her world fell apart. I can relate to the loss of family my dad must have felt when he moved across the country.
And I’m betting that they were just as full of questions and uncertainty then as I am now (and especially as I was during my own divorce).
Because I’m reaching the conclusion that when it comes to adulthood, we all have at least a touch of impostor syndrome.
A sense that we’re pretending at mastery. Playacting at being grown-up.
But the truth isn’t that you’re faking it now. It’s that image you had of adults when you were young was mistaken.
Adults don’t know it all. Nor should they.
The only way to learn is to experience. Observe. Experiment. Adjust. And reflect.
And that never ends.
No matter your age.