I confess that the older I get, the younger I feel and sometimes that is confusing to other adults. Most people my age (such as my friends) feel the need to settle down … buy a house, have a kid or two, leave their careers on hold for awhile to raise those kids. And yet here I am, hovering closer and closer to age thirty, but feeling more and more like a teenager than I did when I actually was a teenager. Don’t get me wrong … I have the wisdom, maturity, and confidence of a real adult … I just tend to gravitate to younger interests. A precious former student once gave a speech about me in which she said, “Mrs. Dallas is just a big kid trapped in an adult’s body.” At the time I laughed sheepishly, but inwardly I cringed, wondering what the other adults around me thought of her statement.
In all honesty, she was right about me. Any casual observer could see that my life is full of
midnight book release parties for popular YA novels, Facebook and MySpace conversations, freakishly loud hair color and black nails, school dances, Guitar Hero, Friday night football, unlimited text messaging, iPods, iPhones, and Mac computers, my own YouTube channel, summer youth camp, spring break trips, mission trips, youth conferences, concerts, homemade t-shirts, Your Mom jokes, Jonas Brothers sing-alongs … the list goes on and on.
I’ve fretted over, theorized, analyzed, and evaluated all the reasons why I still am not quite at the same place in life as the rest of my friends. Why do I not have the typical “baby fever” that most women my age experience? Why do I not desire to just stay in my home and focus on being the best wife and mother that I can? Here are my theories:
1. I am happily married to a man with the same problem as me — he’s kind of a twelve-year-old
trapped in a man’s body, too. So, even though we’ve been married five and a half years now, we’re kind of growing up together in some respects. Besides, we love hanging together and since we both share the same passion for Teenage World, it’s never dull in our house. We also both cherish personal growth and have so many things we want to accomplish, or at least try out in life before we reach “P-Status” (Parent).
2. We’re Youth Ministers — when your primary social spot is your church’s youth group, you
have no choice but to become an expert on all things pop teenage culture. We know the clothes, the music, the jokes, the emotional pitfalls, the hang out spots. Really, how can you adequately reach a group of people if you don’t first understand their world? Somehow, we’ve become honorary members of this world … it’s like we’ve been given special access passes, despite our adult-ness.
3. I teach middle school, for crying out loud. That kind of ruins any chance I might have had at being a normal, functioning adult. Everyday I get to hang with these wonderfully bright, colorful, and creative young adolescents and the energy level never drops below CRAZY. I love my job … and as much as it drains me, it also inspires me to be better, to try harder, and to achieve more. I laugh with my students. I listen to them. I teach them (and sometimes they teach me). I can’t take myself too seriously in such an environment or I’d be miserable. So that whole “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” expression? Yeah, that’s middle school life for me.
So, was it really possible for me to ever grow up given the choices of career I’ve made in my life? I just assume it will take me growing very TIRED of the constant energy and emotional drainage of living at this level … either way, I’m in it as long as I’m good at it and God continues to give me a passion for it.
That being said, welcome to Krissi’s Konfessions … I’ve been blogging for years on Xanga, initially as just another way to keep in touch with the students in my life.
But, this blog is really for the purpose of keeping me motivated as I write and try to seek out what I believe is the next phase of my career … becoming an author. I have written a complete novel. (What genre? Young Adult fiction, OF COURSE. You did just read all of the above, right?) And I am currently seeking an agent. It’s a long, hard process, but I’m plunging ahead no matter what. I figure that at some point, persistence must pay off (that’s how Sam got me to marry him, after all). In the meantime, I keep revising and perfecting every little thing that I can and then working on the book’s sequel. But, more to come on that in later posts …