When I was a little girl, all I wanted to be was a grown up. I wanted to walk, talk and act like a woman. I wanted to drive a fancy car and work at a huge company of some sort. I wanted to own a checkbook and lots and lots of credit cards. I wanted to wear heels and put on pretty makeup everyday.
I was always in a hurry to grow up. Mostly because I looked 16 by the age of 11. I started wearing makeup at the age of 9, and by the time I was 16, I was dating a much older man.
So why was I in such a hurry? What looks so glamorous to kids about adulthood while growing up? Is it all the stuff money can buy? Is it the freedom of answering to no one? Is it the possibility of finding true love? Is it the likelihood that younger people will then look up to you?
I am not really sure why growing up is often the end game in a young person’s mind but I do know it always seemed that way to me. I always wanted to be older, wiser, richer and stronger. Now that I am 20-something I am hit with the reality of it all.
Adulting is not all it’s cracked up to be. Responsibilities are real. Instead of getting in trouble by your parents, you get in trouble by law enforcement. Instead of having someone cook for you, you have to figure out if you want to make a three-course meal or just eat a damn sandwich instead.
While adulting, you have to fend for yourself and be held accountable for every single decision you make in life. No one is there to hold your hand and no one thinks you’re special. Your parents will forever be your biggest and most loyal fans. No one else really cares.
Real life as an adult can definitely be fun if you work hard enough for your rewards. And while this is true, it is not necessarily what we imagined as kids. It is not just driving without a destination because, well, you gotta pay for gas. It is not all partying like there’s no tomorrow because, well, you have to go to work to build your future.
I love being who I am now (while adulting) but I sure do miss the sweet ignorance I possessed as a child. I miss the idea that life is fair and that most people are good. I miss thinking that all those around me will praise me for my work and never be jealous. I miss laughing so hard it hurts because I embarrassed myself in front of a boy I like from math class.
Adulting is not what I expected but I am slowly learning that my expectations were misguided. Adulting is much harder than I could have ever imagined but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Had I known then what I know now, I probably wouldn’t have made it as far as I have.
Like so many great things in life, sometimes the great mystery of it all is the true beauty of it all.