This short post outlines in a pithy way how being an adult is so difficult: we mature in different aspects of our lives at different rates. In turn, this makes relationships difficult — especially as a parent.
We tend to think of immaturity and maturity as dichotomous, uniform states. Once you leave behind the former and enter the latter, you’re mature through and through.
Yet, in reality, maturation follows a patchwork pattern of progress.
Maybe you react to receiving criticism with stoic equilibrium, but respond to having your birthday forgotten with perturbed petulance.
Maybe you can give a presentation at work with perfect confidence, but can’t approach an attractive woman without sweat-inducing fear.
As the midcentury writers Harry and Bonaro Overstreet put it, “All through life we have to take turns, as it were, being ‘parents’ to one another — because we all take turns at being children.”