on how to be an adult

onward, soldiers @ the pour house

I’ve resolved to be more of a real adult in 2013.

I know that November is a weird time to make resolutions, being that, you know, it’s not 2013 and most of 2012 has gone by without a change in my adulthood status, but still. This morning I got a busted tail light on Azula the Little Red Toyota of Doom repaired, after … um, well, 14 months. It took me that long because dealing with car stuff makes me anxious and crazed, so I avoid it, even when it needs dealing with. And thus: being more of a real adult.

I am pretty decent at adulthood. I pay my bills on time, I get the oil changed in my car regularly, I vote, I show up to work almost every day. I haven’t overdrawn my checking account recently, and there’s starting to be a small, precious cushion in my savings account. I contribute more than the minimum to my retirement plan. My personal style runs to ugly vintage dresses, and jeans and t-shirts, but they’re appropriate vintage dresses, and I put blazers over my t-shirts and wear nice jeans. I am, at all appearances, a functional adult.

It’s the little things that keep getting past me, though. I don’t know how to pull myself together because I can’t pick out a proper shade of lipstick, so I don’t wear it, even though I know it would make me look more pulled together and less like someone who should still be carded buying beer. I can’t cope with the thought of how much money it’s going to cost me to get a couple of cavities filled, so I don’t call the dentist, even though I know I should because having a healthy mouth is important. Last year I was four months late renewing my car registration and this year I forgot to pay North Carolina my taxes until they sent me a letter reminding me; not because I didn’t have the money, but because I forgot. I can’t keep a to-do list system going for more than three weeks.

Basically, I am great at the big picture, and poor at details, and eventually that’s going to catch up with me.

So I’m going to work on fixing it. It means going back to bi-weekly therapy, rather than “when I need it” therapy, because clearly I’m not capable of doing this on my own. It means waiting until my new dental plan starts in January, and then, instead of going to the Czech Republic and Hungary to shoot photos of punks, fixing my teeth and maintaining that repair. It means making sure that I have enough money in advance of April to pay my car tax and my inevitable owing of 80 bucks to the NC upfront, instead of whenever. It means going to Sephora and dropping some cash and having a nice professional tell me what lipstick to wear, and then it means getting up when my alarm goes off instead of 15 minutes before I need to leave, because I’ll be happier if I feel pulled together — I always am. It means putting monthly reminders on my calendar to get my damn eyebrows waxed instead of waiting until I have caterpillars on my face; it means putting every six weeks reminders on my calendar about getting my haircut, instead of waiting until I look like an overgrown poodle with bad roots.

And I’m going to start now, because I might as well. I’m a functional adult today, so I might as well start being a kickass one today, after all. I’m not saying that I’m going to grow up — being a rock photographer is never going to be a “grown up” job — but I’m definitely going to be a good adult.

I figure that, since I’m feeling a little stalled in growing my photography business, that this is a good place to start fixing that. Looking at the details, and making them work for me. Marketing, instead of letting things fall into my lap. Working smarter (though also still harder). And if I can do that in a badass red lipstick, well, so much the better.

So I got my eyebrows waxed today, and then I went to a show, and then I watched a Matthew McConaughey movie. That’s totally grown up.

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