I Never Said I Was a Grown-Up

Here’s one thing I believe to be true: As much as everyone grows older and wiser, at our core we’ll always be the same people we were in our youth. I may be a mature, learned, married, pay-my-own-bills version of the childhood Rachel, but when you strip all that away I still have many of the same insecurities and confidences, likes and dislikes.

Tonight, on the ride to our monthly cooking club meeting, a friend told me about the come-to-Jesus she had with one of her BFFs. As she told me about the conversation—one in which both parties expressed hurt feelings over various misunderstandings—I found myself thinking, “These are things I would have totally gotten upset over when I was 8, but I’d get equally upset today.”

As much as we like to think we outgrow our childish—maybe teenage?—jealousies or sensitivities, it’s not always the case. When it comes to issues with friends, fights and misunderstandings quite often stem from feelings of not being heard or recognized. We don’t feel validated. That’s true whether you’re 8 or 18 or 28.

But those childish sensibilities aren’t limited to the dark side—the insecurities or jealousies or hurt feelings. Nope. Humor has the ability to bring me back to childhood, too. For example, I learned tonight that mischievous girl talk about boy parts can still make me giggle like an embarrassed schoolgirl. And that comparing actual celebrity crushes (not the BFF girl-crush kind) can get silly, and even kind of squealy.

But here’s the thing: It’s fun! Those immature conversations about boys—especially amongst a group of women who are largely coupled off—are just so fun. They don’t involve any serious thinking or heavy lifting, just a few ladies willing to be delve into the depths of juvenile girl talk.

I’ve made no secret of how, when I started this blog, I was looking for relationships that reminded me of childhood friendships in terms of their last-minute what-are-you-doing-lets-go-to-the-mall-ness. But as I’ve come to accept the impossibility of that spontaneity, it’s nice to know that friendship can transport me to childhood in other ways.

Like giggling over cute boys.

Or planning princess parties. Royal wedding tiara not optional.

When you’re in a room full of friends—be they old or new—do you ever find yourself reverting to your most childish self? Or am I just that immature?


Filed under The Search

6 responses to “I Never Said I Was a Grown-Up

  1. diana

    nope…even the most wordly of women reverts to being a little girl or horror of horrors..a teenager!!

  2. I was talking about this with a couple of my girlfriends last night – how we still have the same fears and insecurities (and likes/dislikes) we had as children and teenagers. And how, no matter what age you are, sometimes it’s tough being a girl. (But also such fun.)

    And Tim Riggins? Dreamy.

  3. Jess

    I love being silly with my friends! Being able to laugh together is definitely a BFF-requirement for me. I think balance is important too – someone who is always in joking mode and won’t delve into deeper conversations is probably going to stay at ‘casual friend’ level – but being giggly and girly sometimes is just FUN and, IMO, part of what makes a good friendship. 🙂

  4. LizC

    How timely. Last night I had dinner with two friends from college and I was worried that because we hadn’t seen each other in so long that I would revert back to my college age mentality, which is not necessarily a good thing. I had seen my girl friend in the 6 years since graduation (I was in her wedding 4 years ago but she moved out of state a few years ago) but the guy I hadn’t seen since graduation.

    Thankfully it was a pretty good night. We hung out for 4 hours just talking over dinner and coffee. It reminded me of all the times we did that in college before some things went sideways. We talked about the adult things like kids (his) and jobs and bills but also joked about how he was clearly overcompensating for a shortcoming by driving such a large truck or how she had pine trees with penises. And I actually enjoyed the childish moments more.

  5. M

    A few months back I had dinner with 2 friends from my early 20’s that I hadn’t seen in about 10 years. We met at work and at the time, they both seemed to have it all together while I was on the crazy train. Because most of my 20’s were very chaotic (my own doing) these 2 friends hung on as long as they could but it got harder when we stopped working together. I was nervous about seeing them again because I was so far from that girl they knew and I was afraid they might treat me that old way. It turns out, they didn’t have it all together back then and were both envious that I was able to let my crazy flag fly back in the day. We laughed about old times, talked about people we knew and at the end of the night, I remember thinking that we are all who we are supposed to be now, our 20’s were just practice.

  6. Cheryl

    Totally. Even when I get together with people that I’m not close with – or don’t particularly like – now that we’re “all grown up,” I still find myself reacting as if I were still 8 or 10 years old….. (Thought I would have outgrown that by now!)

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