Fear, Taxes, and Growing Up

IRS 1040 Tax Form Being Filled Out

Growing up, I worried about everything. Now I only worry about almost everything. I’m mostly afraid of the things that wait for me out in the wide world. I used to assume that scary things like taxes, jobs, rent, and talking to receptionists were the sort of things I would grow into. I believed that I’d gradually become an adult at some point in my teens. I have become an adult, or so it appears. An option I neglected to consider, however, was that the person inside might not actually grow older. It is comforting to know that other people have felt like this as well, as evidenced by the stunning popularity of Pippi Longstocking and Peter Pan. Perhaps they are popular with children who are terrified of growing up, but I suspect J.M. Barrie was also uncomfortable because he didn’t feel he’d really grown up. What makes me uncomfortable is the real Peter committed suicide. Perhaps there is a reason college is seen as an entry-way into the adult world; we need to figure out bureaucracy and adulthood somehow.

I stand on the brink of my first job (if we can ever finish all this paperwork). I just signed the lease for my first apartment. The university just reviewed our finances (read: “audited”). Soon I shall have to pay taxes. I’m a little bit frightened, but I’m also very excited. In the first place, tax forms were invented by obsessive compulsive people like me, and half of the complexities were invented when new regulations added extra forms and clauses to the original framework. Secondly, I still feel like a little kid, and new things are exciting! (I also like filling out paperwork.)

At some point, I wanted to be a kid forever; it looks like I got my wish in some weird way. (At least, if I didn’t get my wish, I never understood that my conscious thought would never change without my consent.) Yet perhaps immaturity acts to my advantage. While I’m terrified of what comes next, I’m also very excited to see where this is going to take me and what wonderful plans God has in store for me.

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