What’s so great about growing up anyway?
I made a plan early in life to not grow up. I wanted to be Peter Pan! Or at least like Peter Pan! But no dice. So I decided to make the best of it. There were many times when I felt oh so grown up (funnily enough, getting my period was not one of them). And then life happened and something else came around and I realised I was so not grown up. Not even a bit. In fact, I was probably shrinking again.
And I started out so well. I mean, I almost died from asthma attacks in regular intervals, but I read the dictionary and was generally regarded as ‘the smart kid’. But then there were the practical aspects of life. From about age seven, my mom would send me to the shop on my own to buy small things like bread or milk or beer. Of course that was back in the day when seven-year-olds could be trusted to buy beer for their parents instead of drinking it themselves. But carding has always been lax here. Anyway, I felt kinda grown up and hella scared. I mean, I had to walk down the street and up the road, get over two pedestrian crossings,
uphill both ways with a dragon on my back and then make it back in one piece with my loot. I wasn’t exactly a people-friendly kid to begin with. I mean, I was polite ‘n shit but not because I liked people. And I learned one thing from those trips: being grown up means doing shit you don’t want to do. Forever. I felt grown up a lot of times.
Then when I entered secondary school, that was the next big moment. I had felt grown up, oh yes. But now I realised, nay! How wrong was I! To think some puny shopping expeditions could compete with what lay before me! I was all wrong! I wasn’t going to be grown up until I had had some schoolin’! Aha!, I thought triumphantly. Education! Knowledge! The world shall cower before my brain! I’ll do everything differently as of now! I’ll be even better at everything than before and never again shall someone bully me and get away with it!
Guess how that worked out.
I guess a lot of kids feel grown up when they can finally buy booze. After all, that’s the adult freedom you are always promised. Adulthood means making your own decisions and doing what you want, right? But when I, at the ripe old age of sixteen, bought my first legal drink that followed in the wake of many an illegal one (again with the carding, I don’t know, I guess it’s unfashionable?) it was more of a joke with my friends and drinking buddies. Lol, I can buy alcohol now, I can finally drink! It’s totally not like I have been drunk every weekend since I was fourteen! Barkeep, don’t you wanna see my ID?
One day I finally graduated High School and I thought, Aha! Now life begins! All the things I knew up until now were but grains of sand in a Sahara of experience! The university shall cower before me! I’ll ace everything, I’ll work part time, and I will have the time of my life!
Guess how that worked out!
I guess with all the illnesses and surgeries in my family and me always running here and there trying to take care of things while battling my own depression made me grown up because heeeeell did I not want to do things in those days. Any things. Things got on my nerves. So I made the very adult decision to have a drinking problem, a decent problem, mind, not just some teenage frustration drinking, then made the equally adult decision to stop drinking all together, then felt very grown up when I really wanted to drink but was too poor to afford booze. Now that’s adulthood! Welcome to the jungle of grown-uppiness, all the freedom in the world – if you’ve got the money, honey.
And then I moved into my own place (okay, Boyfriend and my own place, I mean, have you seen the price of rent around here?) and felt, yes, this is it. The highly coveted adulthood! Bills and loud, thieving neighbours and everything! Never any money for anything but that’s okay, it’s not like you have any time to do anything remotely enjoyable! Instead there’s an endless list of things to do! It’s like the things never end!
It’s like, yay, I’m doing stuff! I’m so grown up. And then, shit, I have no idea what I’m doing! What is this thing? Things aren’t working out! I’m so not grown up! (The latter especially when I wake up in the middle of the night absolutely convinced there’s a killer clown hiding in the tool shelf and zombie aliens lurking under my bed.)
And the same thing happened with every job I ever had. And with getting my degree. And with entering the master’s program. And I guess if I get another job, or move again, or gods forbid reproduce one day, it will happen again. A series of grown-uppiness until I’m hundred. Being grown up is like an orgasm: Everyone fakes it once in a while.
Adulthood is exactly how I always expected it to be: it sucks. And Peter Pan is a dick, like, what’s so great about Wendy, couldn’t it be me? I never wanted to grow up. Was it because she’s cute and has bouncy hair or something?
Oooohh, if anyone needs me, I’ll be in my blanket fort, playing with my Barbies and my Lego guillotine.