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LatinitasMagazine.org - A Strong Voice for Latina Youth

In the 1960s, women were married by 23 had kids in their mid 20s and were often done with their college studies. It seemed then, as it does now to me that an adult meant paying bills, , possibly finding a companion and start setting aside time because in your present situation of balancing work and home life, free time was “made.” As an adult, after seeing all of my older sisters, 20 something at the time, complain that there just was not enough time to fit studies, work, and fun into 24 hrs. At 5, being old, was the most perplexing thing. Of course time never ran out! I had so much of it, I did my homework, read a bit, wrote stories, sometimes in my head and had time to eat all before 5 in the afternoon. All of these adult day’s goals seemed as though they became slimmer to reach, as you became rounder, bigger and older, none of those things simply happened. You had to make them happen.

I realized this when I lay in bed the entire afternoon watching back to back episodes of Bobby's World in the vicinity of my bedroom, curled under the blankets with a bowl of hot Doritos. It suddenly dawned on me then that I was 26, watching a cartoon made for a 4 year old. What does it mean to be an adult

I am an adult. My age tells me this, but my mindset lets me know that it isn’t the case, for now. It does not help that late night television is a combination of women who are both extreme personalities at ends of the spectrum. They are either very mature, sometimes cold, murder solvers or childlike, needy and finding reassurance in the opposite sex. I do give television credit for the number of women, playing a lead role though.

Yes, domesticity once displayed on television was a tale ,tale sign that you as a mature woman, were on her way to becoming a mother, baker, or gardener, but now roles such as the ones above, are mirror images of teen youth today. They have social sites that filter who they really are all in thought that they will become younger, sweeter or even sexier with the right filter. It’s sort puts my adult perspective in limbo. I am adult, but I have to keep my insane gorgeous self looking prepubescent for another 10 yrs, This is due to an increasing insecurity, I think, for those to continue letting those looking into my social life, from perhaps judging too quickly and too harshly. Subconsciously, I think I want them to believe that I am young, I am hip, and I am in. It is an effort, on my part to stay with current time. I don’t want to be left behind, I want to move forward with the new technology, do what all the hip kids are doing, be in the “know.” I too try my best to get the right angle to project the child like persona. BUT why should I?

I’m about to hit you with a sad truth. Katy Perry is 28 and she gets to dance onstage with milk coming out her  breast and dancing bananas. Miley Cyrus gets to dance like a nut and stick her tongue out as though she were a 5 year old brat. Lastly, Ariana Grande is 22 or 21, one of those and people love carrying her around like a baby. Okay, so Hollywood life or rather social media isn’t the best role model, but don’t I have the most impressive collection of examples?

Adulthood, at least the way I saw it, used to be so simple, but even I know that even that thought is a little black and white version of what reality once was. My oldest sister used to say, “I just want one kid.” She has three and this time I believe she is done, but when she had her first child at 18, she embodied a grown version of her teen self, She was now creating and later morphing her body to create another being, another self,” a mutation” I used to describe it as when I was 10. My mother in screaming fits to her used to say, “ni te banas bien. Como vas a poder a criar un hijo?”

Luckily, my sister learned to take good care of all her kids. I think she has raised 3 swell kids perhaps better than my mother, shhhhh, all the while maintaining an adult persona. I sit here, still thinking, so when is it that I feel and soon thereafter, become an adult?

All the people I hand out with are between 19 and 25, far younger than me. I still dance like a coagulated mass of jello when no one is around and I still pretend a monster is going to grab my ankles before I make it to the bed, seconds after turning of the overhead light.

I am an adult. I pay rent. I pay my bills. I no longer dye my hair shades of purple, pink, green, orange because the impression I want to give at work entails a projected sophisticated version of my writing self. My mindset is sure different. I learned to stop saying “yes” to things I really felt like a “no” would suffice.

I am an adult because I now make choices that will effect tomorrow.  Someone like Jennifer Lopez is an adult. She does her thing; she works her bod, but still manages to keep her youth. Youth when you are an actual child or teen entails, immaturity, sometimes stupidity, I think. Youth when you are older, an adult is a quality that radiates from you, maybe laughter, a smile, a creative process. I am not even sure of this. Have you let go of your inner kid yet?

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