When you’re a child you are told if you don’t feel safe you should find a grown up and ask them for help.
It’s great advice because children are inherently vulnerable and innocent and lacking in street skills. Their tiny fingers can’t be trusted with scissors so, it makes sense we want to protect them when they are out there in the big, bad world; and, who better to look after them then someone who is 4ft taller than them?
But, we get older and we become pretty proficient with the use of scissors and then all of a sudden WE are the grown up. And, it’s crazy because at times we still feel like we need adult supervision. We start internalising our insecurities and instead of asking a grown up for help we compare ourselves to other grown ups. Other grownups who seem to have life figured out. Other grown ups who have unlocked levels of grown up we didn’t even know existed.
Take for instance my colleague, who two weeks ago found out that “aural” and “oral” were not the same word but, in fact two different words with two different meanings. As he sat there bewildered at the revelation he muttered, “I can’t believe I’ve gone 40 years of my life not knowing that”.
We beat ourselves up. How does everyone else know that thing when, I don’t know that thing? When did they learn that thing?
And, we definitely don’t talk about it because talking about it would mean admitting to another human we have no idea what we’re doing. We try to Google it but, Google just tells us we have cancer.
When I started this blog I was really worried that people would read it and tell me to pull my head in and sort my shit out.
“If you’re worried you’re not married, get married!”
“If you’re worried you don’t have kids, have kids!”
“If you’re worried you don’t know the difference between baking soda and baking powder, they’re both leaveners but baking soda is an alkaline that requires balancing with an acidic ingredient such as vinegar whereas, baking powder is a mixture of baking soda and a dry acid such as cream of tartar!”
However, the response I’ve received has been the exact opposite and grown ups who I previously considered being more grown up than me are saying, I have no idea what I’m doing either!
And, let me tell you… it makes me feel so good!
Not only because it’s reassuring to hear that other people are feeling the same way but, because like any support group admitting you need help is the first step to getting help. So, in the spirit of asking a grown up for help….
“Hi. My name is Tali and I’m an adult”