How Old Am I Mentally?

Yesterday, I had a very unfortunate wake up call. Mentally, I am younger. And immature.

I’m 27 years old. Yet, I act like a teenager. Mentally, I’m in the 16-20 year range. How do I know this? Like I said, yesterday I had an unfortunate brush of reality.

I took a non work day due to trying to get myself organized and feeling mentally better. Some context, I live with my mother and brother. We’re more like roommates, but that’s for a different time. My mom is a teacher. She’s amazing at her job, specializing in at-risk youth. She has a lot of stresses, and everyone has bad days (and if you can’t tell by now, this story may paint her in an unfavorable light. However, she’s an awesome lady and I love her. And she reads this blog {don’t get mad, Mom}).

During the morning, I got messaged to meet my director of a show I’m working on at noon. Then Mom messaged me saying that the couch and stuffed animals she keeps in her classroom for her students is against firecode and had to be immediately removed. We had one car to share amongst three, and I had it. She asked me to come pick up the couch. Ugh. It’s just the innate laziness of not wanting to move from my desk before I have to go to the theater. Also, how stupid of the firecode, considering other things I’ve seen in classrooms.

But I told her I’d do it.

On my way out, in the car, pulling onto the street, she called to tell me her pizza party was cancelled and can I please bring her lunch. Mild annoyance, because that means I have to stop one more place, since I’m not going back to the house. But it wasn’t a big deal. Jokingly, I whined about just leaving (with the plan of picking her up food instead). She said she was sorry and that she found out after first period (about an hour and a half ago). Teachers don’t have an opportunity to sit, much less message a person about lunch. I understood why she wouldn’t have told me until now. Still, like a petulant teenager, and not at all seriously, I whined again; “Why didn’t you tell me then?” It wasn’t meant to harm or to be taken seriously. However, she screamed over the phone, “NEVERMIND, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, I’LL JUST FIGURE IT OUT, GOD!” And she hung up.

I was stunned. Huh? Did she mistake my tone for arguing or anger? Did she not understand the kidding-ness of my statements? What the hell just happened?!

I picked her up some food and went to the school, fully intending to ask her about it. I got there, and she, with three other students, brought out the couch and shoved it in the trunk. She didn’t speak to me. She didn’t even look at me. I didn’t exist. Then she slammed the trunk shut and stomped back inside. Even her students were a bit shocked. I gave Mom’s lunch to a student, and left.

I wasn’t even a block from the school when I started to sob. Full crying, noises, headache, everything.

Mom was angry with me.

What did I do?

And I realized: I was acting like a child.

I whined about doing any sort of work or favor. I was like her students, who she has to deal with times a thousand every day. I even started crying when I didn’t understand why an adult I look up to treated me unfairly.

I already knew I was immature for my age. I’m on no real career path, I live at home, I’m a shopaholic with not enough income, and I still need to ask for the car to go anywhere. I’m stuck in a college brain, where I’d rather stay in school than go out to the real world.

I know this.

But this wake up call was something new. And something very ugly to me.

I did not like what I was realizing about myself.

Was Mom in the right to act that way toward me? I don’t believe she was. Was my behavior what set her off? Probably not. She may have had a really bad day (being the handler of 200+ 11-12 year olds).

(Note: I asked Mom about this several hours later, and it was indeed me. She was pissed at me for yelling and arguing and crying, and she was sick of it. I didn’t yell; the mic through the car picked up a different cadence. I certainly wasn’t crying, until after I was scolded. I did argue, but in a non-serious matter. At the time of typing this, neither of us have apologized)

But it still hits me in the face like a baseball bat. I’m 27, not 18. I know I need to mature.

I just need to figure out where to start.

Wish me luck.

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