As a child I never waited for the time when I would be an adult. When my friends were planning out their future lives, I was an active participant, but the actual growing-up part I wasn’t very keen on. Having been an adult for well over a decade now, I can say that my seven year old self was absolutely right – being an adult sucks (even though I had a really committed but extremely strict mother). I spent a few days thinking over it and this what I think is at the base of my not wanting to grow-up:
- Public opinion – As a child you aren’t aware of or don’t care what the world around you thinks of you. Yes, there may be the occasional comment from an exasperated parent comparing you to some friend’s super obedient child, however, that’s not something you take personally. The focus at that moment is more on distracting the parent, and changing their train of thought, so you don’t get into more trouble.
- Extreme Expectations – Yes, we do have to take responsibility and that comes with a certain amount of accountability. The difference here is as a child it’s only part of your life, but as an adult you’re rarely able to enjoy something because most acts are on the road to achieving something else. If you’re in your thirties and aren’t married, then your either ‘lost’ or working really hard on reaching some pinnacle of success that justifies your failure in settling down.
- Doing Nothing – Sitting alone and reading a book that you don’t have to read is considered a luxury. What happened to all the times our parents asked us to go do ‘something’ on our own. I want that undefined ‘something time’. Those hours when no one really cares what you’re doing (except if you make a major mess or it’s unsafe). Now, it’s a guilt inducing non-activity to do something undefinable. Since there’s so much we have on our to-do lists, if there’s any time spent doing nothing it means you’re slacking off. If you’re good at a sport it’s expected that you’ll, excel at it or get really fit, not just enjoy playing it for fun. If you dare to make it the latter, then it’s considered ‘me time’ and becomes a last priority thing!
- Wasting Time with People You ‘Don’t Like’ – It’s not cool to say ‘these are the people I want to spend time with and these people don’t make me happy’. You can do it, but it has to be PC and subtle or you end up with a the tag of ‘haughty or aloof’. It’s not done to reach out to people you like, because that makes you ‘desperate’. What about the simple act of going-up to a girl on the playground and saying ‘Hi, can we be friends?’. No reason or timing involved there. No rethinking our ‘approach strategy’ and the person approached questioning our ulterior motives.
Having said all the above, I have to add that there’s a lot of positivity out there and there are definite benefits to growing-up. (My husband prefers going to work to going to school, so obviously it’s not that same for everyone.) It’s to capture this positivity that I’ve decided to start a new experiment (this is the project I mentioned before) ‘The Escapist’. Recording and finding those no purpose moments in life through all forms of everyday fantasy daydreaming, travel, movies, books, art and aimless discussion. Join me on Escape a Little Everyday for the fun.
P.S. – I haven’t decided to actually shut down this blog, but I won’t be posting here for a while.