There’s this little girl I saw recently. I’ve watched her grow up from the time she was a baby and she’s really becoming a good little girl. She’s 9 years old now and like the cutest little girl you can imagine. As I was walking by, she stopped me and said hi. I asked her about school and her (fairly) new little sister. She asked me how old I was now. I told her I was 23.
“Oh my goodness you’re really growing up aren’t you,” she replied.
Chuckling to myself, I had to agree that she was right and informed her that she too was growing up (especially using phrases like “You’re really growing up.” That’s normally reserved for old ladies with too much lipstick and false teeth).
“No I’m not,” she replied. “I can’t wait til I’m grown.”
It’s funny. I remember when I said almost that same exact thing in my younger years. I couldn’t wait until I was a grown up. I couldn’t wait until I was able to make all my own decisions and rules and follow no one but myself. I fantasized about growing up and getting married and having my own children. I told myself that I would be nothing like my parents. I would let my children eat candy and play all day if they wanted to. They would never have a bed time. I would let my daughter talk to boys on the phone and go on dates before she was 16. After all, why should there be an age limit? I would have an awesome job with awesome friends and go on awesome vacations all the time. Oh yea, and I’d be rich but never have to go to school. Life would be perfect….as soon as I grew up.
But now, I’m a grown up (kind of). I have bills for everything. There are the food bills, and the rent bills, and the electricity bills. Then there are the bills for cable, the bills for clothes/shoes. You even have to pay to get to work to make the money that pays the bills. It’s ridiculous. Then there’s the fact that you’re all alone. Sure you can go do whatever you want, whenever you want, but that’s provided that you don’t have to work that day and come home dog tired. Your parents don’t make you do things you don’t want to do, but they still give you a horrible time if you don’t do it. Now, if I were to do something stupid or reckless they would probably send me to jail instead of just calling my parents. (Not that I do anything wrong, but still)
I no longer have enough time for anything. I find myself running from here to there and back again. I’m not rich, not by a long shot. I’m not working in my dream job. I can’t go on tons of awesome vacations, they cost money (money I don’t have). Some of my friends are awesome, but most aren’t “real friends”. Life isn’t perfect.
I dread the end of every month, because that means that at the beginning of the next I’ll have to fish out more money to continue living a somewhat decent life. I still listen to my parents because they seem to kind of know what they’re talking about. I have to follow different rules now, laws. I have to start going to sleep early so I can make it to work the next day almost on time. Thank goodness for special occasions and romantic dates where the other person pays otherwise I’d probably never eat out at a restaurant.
I have to be responsible these days. I understand the need for those rules I used to hate and would probably initiate each and every one my parents initiated when I have my kids. Even now I almost freak out when my little sister tells me she’s interested in guys.
Being a grown up sucks. I wish I could go back to being a child. Whereas before I was wishing my time away and attempting to run forward into my future, I’m now digging in my heels and slowing things down. I miss the days when the only thing I had to worry about was whether or not I should make ham and cheese or peanut butter and jelly for lunch, (PB&J always won) or the days when my only stress was trying to learn my multiplication and division. I miss the times when I could come home from school and lay in the bed allllllllll dayyyyyyy and have absolutely nothing to do. I miss being a kid.
So when the little girl told me this, I crushed her dreams like dust. I told her that she doesn’t want to be an adult. “Being a grown up sucks,” I said, “You never have any money, you can’t do everything you want to do, and If you do anything wrong they’ll send you to jail. Your parents never buy you anything anymore and they don’t do things for you like they used to. No one loves you when you’re a grown up. They just leave you alone to wander around and it sucks.”
She was pretty sad, but didn’t question me. She probably thought I had become a psycho in my old age. It may be true. She just walked away, glancing back at me warily.
Perhaps I shouldn’t have said that. It was a bit harsh but seriously, being an adult sucks. I wish I had known that when I was a kid so I could stop hoping for a better day and just enjoy what I had. Perhaps I’ll feel the same away about my current years when I get to be retired and old. After all, I do still have fun, within the confines of the law. The select amazing friends I do have bring so much awesome into my life it’s crazy. People do love me, and I love them, and love means so much more to me now. To me, being a kid meant freedom, fun, and reckless abandon, but being an adult means passion, love, fun, and control. Depending on how you look at it, both are amazing.
Yes, being a grown up sucks….
but I love it and I wouldn’t have it any other way.