19 October 2011


I'm going to go out on a limb and write about another confession. I know what your reaction is going to be, even as I write this. About half of my dear readers will lean towards the screen, raveningly eager for yet another glimpse into my psyche. Another group, overlapping with the first, will pull out a text book and begin yet another psychological profile of Problematic. A few of you will lean back, concern written over your face, and wonder what new thing you'll be having to pray about in Problematic's life.

And I can practically guarantee you that a couple will have stopped reading at this point, and gone to do something far more fulfilling with their lives than waste another 5 minutes reading my jumbled thoughts. They might be smarter than any of us.

No matter. This reaction has yet to convince me not to write. I am, above all else, an ineffably optimistic authoress with no qualms over inflicting an uncaring world with my musings. There are over 6 billion people on the earth, so I know that at least one of them will like what I have to say.

Enough of the introduction. I have a confession to make, friends. Perhaps "confession" is not the correct word. Declaration? Statement? Proclamation? They are all correct.

Friends, I have an announcement. It hinges directly on the fact that I recently became a legal adult. Now, a lot of my friends went through a slump after turning 18. I understand the logic. We are adults now. We must behave. When I was a child, I thought and acted like a child: Now that I am grown, I must act like one.

Oddly enough, of all the people I know to get this post-18 complex, the Peter Pan syndrome one didn't. Yes, that's right. Despite my complete dislike of the concept of growing old, I felt no sense of depression or despair at turning 18. In fact, I felt no new compulsion to act my age.

This is where my declaration comes in. 

This year, during my 18th year, I will do stupid things.

 I can feel your interest rising from here. You really must learn to control yourself. And for the many dubious among you, let me explain myself.

I have spent my entire teenage existence worrying about not being a teenager. I avoided impulses. If I got the urge to do something, I'd do the entire opposite thing. If there was the slightest possibility that my parents might not completely approve or might shake their heads knowingly at my folly, I would put all thought of it from my mind. I would NOT be the typical teenager, pulling pranks and causing their parents many hours of amusement, if not worse. NO SIR. Not I. 

I blame the Rebelution for ruining my childhood. I went to it shortly before my 12th birthday, and ever since then, viewed my adolescence as a time for defying all stereotypes. I became a kind of walking killjoy for all my less-inhibited friends.

This resolve was, to a large extent, the root of many of the problems you've seen documented on this blog in recent years. 

But then, I started comparing my life to my friends'. The worst thing I had done, in 7 years, was to go to a tattoo parlor to get my ears pierced. Because my mother went with me, that hardly even counted. My friends had: dumped trash on someone's car in revenge for a prank; driven themselves into Seattle to bum around town; fought airsoft battles into the wee hours of the night; and generally lived their lives to the fullest. 

Me? I emptied the dishwasher. I went to Pike's Place once or twice a year and NEVER gave money to street musicians. I stayed up in the wee hours of the night studying for test, and generally lived a life of quiet desparation, fulfilling my need for adventure and excitement through countless read-throughs of Sherlock Holmes and the Lord of the Rings. 

For years, my favorite book was "The Club of Queer Trades" by GK Chesterton, specifically the one about the Adventure and Romance Agency, Limited. Why? Because I hoped that one day, one year, I'd discover the offices of the Agency and could at least hire myself an adventure.

These comparisons really came to a head when I went on a missions trip this summer to Gleanings for the Hungry. They have this rule about "no throwing fruit," so kids were throwing rotten peach goo instead. They'd drink 2-4 energy drinks on a shift and see who could sing the highest, for longest, and loudest. They Sharpie'd my hair green. They ignored curfew to go out praying. And no, praying is not a euphemism. 

I was kind of like a deer in the headlights. I had no idea how to react to any of this. It was so entirely outside my realm of experience, I had to either throw myself into it or shrivel in a corner and bewail the state of my generation. 

So when they Sharpie'd my hair green, I peppered their beds, and soaked their wallets in my garishly cheap and awful smelling perfume. I had a taste of what I had determined not to do for so many years. And friends, I'd never had so much fun in my life!

That is why this year, I have resolved to be stupid. I want to learn how to Airsoft, and I want to stay up all night doing it. I want to hike through the Cascades barefoot. I want to go out and dance in the rain, not just walk and insert a couple of small, furtive dance movements into my stride. I want to go to Folklife, and Sasquatch, and go listen to my favorite bands in concert. I want to have a real, down-to-earth conversation with someone I disagree with.

I want to learn to ride a motorcycle, and go on more roadtrips with my friends. I want to make those Sharpie highlights a more permanent fixture and dye my hair with green or blue streaks. I want to get a second piercing in my ears. In essence, this year, I am resolving to be stupid, have tons of fun, and ignore the consequences. 

The best part is, I've already begun. I wrote a song for my friend for her birthday, and mixed the awfully sung (on purpose) song onto a CD for her. I now have golden chain extensions in my hair. And I finally worked up the courage to buy the combat boots I've wanted for years. I plan on getting more steampunk stuff, not just classy jewelry, but in-your-face, deal-with-my-gears-or-else hats and goggles and gloves.  I'm going to be impulsive, and not stifle the discussions I want to have.

I resolve to be stupid. And to enjoy every minute of it.

I will be posting my bucket list shortly for any fans of my new resolution.


  1. I love this. Can I be stupid with you?

  2. Thanks for this post Promblematic.
    I really needed to hear this, as its something I'm going through myself.

  3. I call dibs on teaching you how to airsoft

  4. Hannah! Of course, and at any time! ;)

    I'm glad it helped, Autumn. :)

    Scott, I'm afraid you're fourth in line at this point. Sorry. It's the way things work.