Being an adult

Growing up my younger sister, younger brother and I were brought up with the strong message that it was our duty to learn as much as we could, study hard and get a good education and then job so that we would always be able to stand on our own feet.

Our time was spent going to school and tuitions, reading and classes like dance/music ( which never stuck). We were never forced to do anything, we were never expected to get the highest grade, but we had to do reasonably well. We were lucky enough to have plenty of help at home, so I don’t remember ever setting foot in the kitchen except to maybe bake a cake or try cooking something exotic I read about in a magazine. My mother spent most of her time reading and because of her we all became avid readers, we thought our time better spent reading than worrying about the laundry or cleaning. I had a fortunate childhood, thanks to my parents. But in many ways I was ill prepared to face the world as an adult. I was too wrapped up in books, I didn’t know how to cook or keep a home, I couldn’t drive or deal with most people.

My first job took me away from home, but I was lucky that my flatmate was like-minded. We learnt together when it came to paying our rent, going to the bank, dealing with the help and public transport. But the fact that we were so alike, meant that most evenings we would be reading or watching TV shows and would order in food instead of cooking. We would let the help get away with not showing up for work, and we never bothered making the flat, we shared, into a home. But we were happy, independent for the most part and doing things that interested us.

Then I got married. My husband is a good man, doesn’t expect me to be the one to keep home and cook, and supports my writing career ( I use the work career in it’s loosest possible sense). But as I freelance, work from home and make pittance it does fall into my lap the task of managing the help, cooking dinners and making sure the house is clean. I try to cook dinner around four nights a week, I have prettified the house, I make sure everything is reasonably neat. But I constantly feel like I am falling short, especially when I meet other wives who are doing DIY decor projects and setting up little gardens on their balconies. I can’t even claim that my job keeps me too busy from getting more involved and doing more around the house. I would love to have a pretty garden or to be able to cook gourmet meals every night, but the fact is I don’t enjoy the process. And for all the books I have read and education that I have had I am lost in the real world.

I get bored when the conversation steers towards where to buy curtains and what chillies should be used to make a particular dish. I wish I could be interested, because it is important to know these things and to make the effort. I worry that I am not pulling my weight in the relationship. And worst of all I am not independent financially, which was the one thing my father stressed the importance of.
So I start questioning what my purpose is in this world? I am not the independent and successful woman I was brought up to be and I am not the happy home maker I have the opportunity of now becoming. And I don’t know if I want to be either. Being an adult is confusing.

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4 thoughts on “Being an adult

  1. Wow, the earlier part of your post could have described me. If I gave up my job, I’d probably be you in the latter part as well.

    One thing to remember – not everyone who goes out to work excels at it. There seems to be this pressure that because your work is in the home and financially non-compensated, you have to be a genius at it. But why should that be? As long as you’re competent in what you undertook to do, that should be enough.

    Also, just because you work primarily in the home doesn’t mean that you should love homemaking. It sounds like it’s a choice you make to pursue your other interests, and one that works for your spouse because you do take care of the basics of homemaking. I had a friend who undertook a housekeeping gig so she could pursue writing her book. She’s not a housekeeping genius either.

    • Sorry for this ridiculously late reply. Hadn’t checked my blog in ages. Thanks for commenting. I get what you are saying. If i really think about it, all my confusion and unease stems from not being fulfilled mentally. I want more interactions with like-minded people and a job/passion which satisfies me. Guess I have to go out there and find it:)

  2. I feel like a misfit in most places too. Actually, I do’t just feel it, I really am. But as long as one or two people understand you, it’s fine I guess. I love cooking but even the kind of food I make and cook makes is hardly of any interest to people at work, where I spend most of my time.

    I can totally relate to what you said about not dealing wth banks, public transport and stuff. I have been working for 3 years now and still have hardly any understanding about any of these. 😦 And guess what, my husband and I still spend most of our days watching different series or reading something. big home turtles we are. πŸ˜€

    • Thanks for commenting. And it is nice to know that there are plenty of other people who go through the same things. Hahaha, I know what you mean, my husband and I spend pretty much the whole weekend on the couch, reading or watching a movie — with some beer on hand:)

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