Courting Adulthood

Or, you know, not. The actual title should be “I am Making an Attempt at Courting Adulthood but Failing Miserably Because I Just Want to Play Pokemon.”

A lot of things have been happening recently in regards to that ever blurry line between adolescence and adulthood, not the least of which was the finalizing of my financial situation. Two days ago I spent around two hours at the bank, signing documents that I didn’t understand and activating the first bank account I’ve had without my parents’ names on it. That’s some real grown-up shit. Mind you, I think most people generally have a good idea about what they’re signing, but banks, it seems, are universal in their confusing terminology. Language barrier aside, I’m not entirely sure what an estate tax is and whether or not I have to worry about paying it. Since I don’t own property here in Italy, I gather I don’t, but still, the fact remains that this initial foray into the realm of adulthood is confusing and scary as all hell.

I had a conversation with my mother in the past week or so about some issues I’ve been having, both at home and at work. I won’t go too terribly into detail about the issues specifically, as this post centers around my reactions to them more than the problems themselves. I find myself becoming frustrated very easily when told to “Go with the flow” and “It’ll happen when it happens” because, logically, I know these things. I’m usually very good at just chilling out and waiting for things to occur in their own time. The frustration, I think, can be attributed mostly to my mediocre Italian knowledge when dealing with native speakers on topics that require a better grasp of the language. The bank, for example, would probably not have taken up as much of my time if I’d been able to understand more of what the account woman was saying. It took me half an hour to remember that “soldi” is Italian for “money.” I can hide behind the fact that I only took one year of Italian and allowed that knowledge to languish while I wrote an honors thesis, but unfortunately that excuse doesn’t fly in the face of a stony old lady trying to explain to me how a damn credit card works.

Home life has been an exercise in patience in ways that I did not expect to deal with again. There haven’t been major altercations of any sort, no serious disrespect from anyone, but once again, frustration can sometimes be a barrier to having a good time. I have to learn where the lines are when living as a staff member among students. Is it appropriate for me to have a serious argument with a roommate, or do I have to step back and not even attempt to fight for my side for the sake of maintaining a level of separation? What do I do about alcohol at parties? Can I evenĀ go to parties? It’s difficult when your only potential friends are people that you are potentially in charge of when on a school campus. I attended a birthday party just this weekend, actually, and while it was fantastic and great, I worried about even going in the first place. No one can tell me where the line is, and I don’t want to cross something that hasn’t even been drawn yet.

Point being, this frustration contrasts rather spectacularly with the childish glee that comes from knowing the new Pokemon games should be released worldwide in the next few weeks. I’m excited to get my first paycheck, not as a paycheck in and of itself, but as a means to potentially buying a video game console and game pack. I’m 22. I never claimed to be an adult, but the rest of society is trying its hardest to remind me that I am expected to behave as such. Once tossing the cap and gown, it is no longer appropriate (apparently) to become googly-eyed over a kid game.

Don’t get me wrong, I still want the new Pokemon game. Badly. I’m trying to figure out where I can get it here in Florence, and I’m thinking that part of my paychecks will be going towards purchasing it and the damn 3DS console. However, I will be putting money away for grad school like a future-conscious adult type person. Can we call that a good compromise?

This obviously isn’t a feeling that will be resolved by buying a game as guilt-free as possible by compensating with saving some Euros. I suspect that I might grapple with it for a while, even after work settles down and the lines are drawn by people more responsible than I. For what it’s worth, I know everyone else has some kind of existential crisis at some point in their lives. I’d been hoping to stave it off until my fifties.

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2 thoughts on “Courting Adulthood

  1. I believe estate taxes usually refer to a portion of an estate’s net value paid to the government after the owner has died and before the estate passes to his/her heir(s). So, in short, I’m pretty sure you won’t have to worry about paying that one, if that helps.

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