Nobody told me there would be a photocopier. Or that there would be chatter amongst it, adults swarming around it like a waterhole. I was not warned that the game of charades would go on for so long. Sometimes I don't want to play at all. It's not fun but it's something else. And there is merit in things that are not fun.
Being an adult is not at all like how you imagine it as a child. You imagine a fullness, a completeness that is satisfying, a tick in a box, the way you feel when you connect the dots in one of those numbered drawing books or on Mr. Squiggle. I would be lying if I said it was empty but it is a strange world to navigate, at least at first.
At first you feel like a fraud. Do people know that I don't know what I'm doing? Nobody knows what they're doing. It's just that nobody tells. Everybody gets so good at pretending to know what they're doing they begin to believe it, that they know what they're doing even when and especially when they don't.
They don't tell you what small talk really means. Small talk is when adults take words that have so much potential and completely drain them of life and meaning. They reduce the possibility of words to communicate something honest, interesting and strange and make it as tiny and insignificant as possible. Adults have a funny way of turning things on their head. Not all adults of course but a big bunch of them.
Lots of them believe that the work they do is everything and their world shrinks to the size of their small talk. Their minds become as small as their words and pretty soon their entire adult world could be closed up in the tiny fist of an infant.
But not all of them, of course. A lot of them, like the Dad in Peter Pan, takes out his dreams at night and watches them dance and fly fast from the drawers. And each night it gets harder and harder to put those dreams back in the drawers. And some adults don't at all and stop playing charades and starting playing for real.
The hardest thing about being an adult is trying not to laugh when you really want to and when it's really inappropriate. Another difficulty I have is knowing how long to keep eye contact in a meeting. Sometimes I'm too busy making sure I am looking at each adult for an appropriate amount of time that I don't listen to what they are saying. Adults take themselves too seriously. Which is why I'm only going to be a part time adult and a full time unicorn.