Thursday, November 10, 2011

From Where I Sit: Feeling Grown Up

I was watching Glee on Tues (Shocker right LOL?) and I couldn't help but yell at the TV, "EXACTLY!" during Artie's speech about never quite feeling "grown up" when you are in a wheelchair. If you missed it, let me recap the quote for you. . .

"When you’re in a chair, it’s hard to feel like you’ve ever grown up. Everyone’s always doing stuff for you, they get freaked out about saying the wrong thing, so they coddle you. Sometimes it’s hard to picture a life of being totally self sufficient. But directing you guys…it’s the first time in my life I’ve ever felt like a grown man."

I cannot tell you how much this one quote resinated with me. I have said countless times to my hubby and BFF that although I am a very successful business woman that takes on an endless task list that puts me in the constant public eye, I am a greeter at our church, I give presentations to large groups, etc; I still will get the feeling of not being quite "grown up" from time to time. I look in the mirror and see a thirtysomething woman who is very proud of who she has grown up to be, but that feeling still is deep inside.

How could this be after having accomplished great things in the business world and in my personal life you ask? Well, let me make it simple for you to understand.

I have never, and probably will never grow out of someone (my parents, my hubby, my BFF and other friends) having to help me get out of bed in the morning and back in at night, shower, use the restroom throughout the day (I can't transfer myself), get dressed, do my hair, drive, do the laundry, cook. . .

I can assist on many of these things, but I cannot do them totally alone. I would give anything to be able to dress myself and do my own hair. . .or use the restroom whenever nature calls. Can I just tell you how many times I have had to use the restroom, the toilet is right in front of me, but no one is home to help me transfer to it. Thank you God for my bladder of steel (as I like to call it!), because I seem to be able to go quite a long period of time without using the restroom.

Also, do you know how much I would love to put on a cute lingerie and surprise my hubby, but I can't do that without help. So what am I going to do. . ."uhh hey honey, can you help me put this little number on so I can surprise you later?" I don't think so.

On the mental standpoint, I have long since been an adult. I think living with a physical disability it has actually made me mentally grow up faster. I've had to mentally figure out creative ways to do the things that able bodied individuals do without a second thought. But I can't help but feel that sometimes I am "playing grown up" or "playing house" when it comes to the physical stuff.

I have never been "coddled" as the quote above mentions. If anything those around me let me do as much as I can on my own and push me to be more independant as much as they can. I am blessed to have people that are all too willing to assist me in my life, however they have never made me feel that I was incapable or a burden. The help I need is just part of the daily routine. It's an unspoken need. It just gets done. It's not only my life, but it is part of my loved ones lives as well and we just live it the best we can.

So thank you Artie, for making me realize I am not alone on this one. . .even if you are a fictional character!


  1. To be honest, I don't feel like a grownup myself. I feel like I'm faking it and someone is going to find out at any moment.

    I don't have many of the trappings of adult life, no husband, no children. I feel like I'm about college age or so. Still not an adult, not responsible for things.

    I don't know if I'll ever feel grown up. I asked my dad about it recently and he said he feels like he's about twenty-two. It always confuses him when something forces him to face that he's sixty-one.

    I wonder if anyone really believes themselves to have arrived at adulthood!

    [I haven't seen the newest episode of Glee yet, I'm excited to hear that Artie is in it somewhat! We need more storylines with him)

  2. That show... it seems so good.
    I can see how the lifestyle could make you feel kiddish at times when you want to do stuff all on your own. But think of it this way, too, Jamie:
    How grown up do you have to be to ask for help? How big of a lady do you have to be to ask someone to help you with ANYTHING? Bigger than your pride. And from where I sit, you have the greatest self-esteem I've ever seen anyone posess. This is why you can ask for help and receive help; one of my lady-life-lessons during our wedding was learning this very thing.

  3. I figure don't have many hangups or inhibitions, especially since you need help going to the toilet. I'm curious about several things. Have you ever had to ask a stranger to help you on to the pot? Once someone plops you down, is that it? Or do they have to pull down your trousers and underpants as well? Did your father or other male family member have to help you, post adolescence? That would drive me bonkers! Potty time is awfully private. I'd hate to have to share it with another person.

  4. Thanks for the indepth question. I'm happy to answer it for you. I'll be sure to make "potty time" a new From Where I Sit.