When I Grow Up…

Grown UpAt which point does a person become an adult? I’m not speaking legally…because god knows 18-year-olds don’t know much about life, and the same goes for the famed legal drinking age of 21. Do you all remember when you were that age? Looking back, would you consider your younger self to be an adult? Most definitely not. But age alone doesn’t make one grown up. I’ve encountered many adults who didn’t exactly have their stuff together. And I’ve heard a 35-year-old man use the phrase “When I grow up.” What about parenthood? No, having children doesn’t make one an adult; I think we can all agree on that. After all, biology alone doesn’t determine adulthood.

Is the definition of “grown up” different for every person? Is adulthood a personal status that is achieved at a different time for everyone? Do we have to fall in love, have our hearts broken, be fired from a job, find a job we really love, question all major life decisions, find our soul mate, buy a car or a house? Is adulthood reached when one feels complete?

I’ve been fired from a job I thought I would love, I’ve moved across the country, I’ve had feelings for someone only to be disappointed, I’ve graduated from college, I bought a car, I’ve gone out on dates, and I’m currently questioning all previous life decisions. Does that make me grown up?

Do I know what I want to do when I grow up? Why yes I do. In addition to other things, I know I want adventure. Oh, but adventure can mean something different to every person as well. Of course, I know that as one grows older, gains more life experience, and perhaps considers another person in their plans, one’s desires can change. Do I think I’m grown up yet? I guess not. It’s not as though I don’t feel complete. I like and accept who I am (though I wish others could as well), and my happiness doesn’t depend on another person…but I guess I’m just not quite there yet. I still say “When I grow up”, and I really mean it. Perhaps there are different phases in life, and I’m on the verge of entering a new one.

Unfortunately, societal pressures play far too large a role in the decisions that most people make. It’s as though there are so many things I want to do right now, but I feel as though I have to be more responsible. Ugh, stupid social mores and expectations!! Why do they have to be so ingrained into us? …And why am I not strong enough to truly go against them? I guess there’s only so brave and strong a person can be, and maybe I’m just tapped out for the moment…

You know, being grown up is overrated. I’ll just stick to being a vagabond.

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