Folding a Fitted Sheet

When you know a thing, say that you know it; when you do not know a thing, admit that you do not know it. That is knowledge.

-Confucius

This week, as I was endlessly scrolling through my Instagram feed on the train, I came across a picture that actually captured my interest. It wasn’t a random selfie of someone I barely know, or a picture of rooftop drinks, reminding me that I have little to no social life, or even a picture of New York City, reminding me that I should probably get up off my couch.

No, it was a picture of a quote. About a fitted bed sheet.

IMG_5350(photo cred: @mumfordnosonz)

It made me stop my mindless scrolling. Because, well, DAMN! I’ve never seen a more factual statement about being an adult. Or honestly, about a fitted sheet. Honestly, who the hell knows how to fold a fitted sheet, anyway?

I thought about all the stages of my life, of adulthood, that I’ve already lived. When I moved away for college, I thought I was such an adult. And in my defense, it was the most adult I had ever been up until that point. But now, I look back and laugh at that thought, because I was living in a dorm where someone else was paid to take out my trash, I had a full meal plan, and my biggest worry was getting to class on time, which, was maybe a five minute walk from my dorm. I guess I equate “adult” with “independence.” But now, I look at my “adult” life. The older twentysomething adult life. And I see real responsibilities. I see bills, financial debts, stresses at work, expensive living costs…and the list goes on, am I right?

But I wonder, when I’m fifty, will I look back on this time in my twentysomething life and laugh at the thoughts, at the stresses, that I feel now? Will I wish that I was more appreciative of a simpler life?

And although I am still many years away from being a parent, I feel like it’s the same idea. You can read as many parenting books as you’d like, but there’s not one correct way to be a parent. You just have to do the best you can do, and hope that your kid doesn’t turn out to be a melon head. And if they do, I’m sure you’d still love and support them anyway.

It’s a lot like being an adult. I can read (or write) as many twentysomething blogs as I want, but there still isn’t one “correct” way on how to live your life, on how to be an adult. And Lord knows I’m just trying to do my best, hoping that I won’t screw over my future self. Like folding a fitted sheet, I’m sure some people really are knowledgeable in that art. As for my own technique, I never have to worry about that, because I only have one set of sheets. So my fitted sheet is either wrapped around my mattress, or it’s in the washer. No folding necessary. 🙂

And although the fitted sheet quote is slightly terrifying – just imagine, all “adults” are just pretend-adults who have no freaking clue what they are doing – it’s also incredibly liberating. As in, I’m not the only one who still feels like a child playing dress up and trying to catch up with the rest of the adult world?! I’m not the only one who gets confused about life sometimes? There are other people who also don’t really know how to be an adult? Awesome! That’s amazing!

But I think as we continue to learn, we can continue to share bits of information and knowledge with other pretend-adults, so we can all learn something from each other. We are all mini-experts at something, but will never know everything. We continue to learn, grow, and develop into who we are.

And maybe, just maybe, one day I will learn how to fold a fitted sheet.

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