There’s Something About…

Growing up.

I’m sure many of us can relate to our desire to be adults when we were younger and were restricted or denied from the things we wanted. Simple things like: staying up and hanging out with friends past curfew, or buying ourselves the things our parents couldn’t afford or deemed unnecessary to purchase for us. Trivial things that seemed so important at the time, but now you can’t remember half of those things you so desperately wanted.

I think it’s interesting how when we’re younger, we have all these dreams and aspirations as to how we want our future to look like or who we want to be. I wanted to be an artist when I was younger, like Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dali. It was something about drawing and painting that seemed so astounding. Being able to just sit down and create the images you have within your mind out of paint and graphite seemed surreal. To see your imagination come to life has to be the greatest feeling an artist could ever experience.

As children our imagination served as the permission we so badly wanted from our parents. There was no reason why we couldn’t have something, we simply imagined the experience of having it, alongside the feelings our possession would give us. (Isn’t this the basis of the ever-so-popular phenomena, “manifestation”?) Naivety and innocence within the core of our tiny bodies helped us believe in boundless possibilities. Anything is truly possible when you’re shielded from the realities of life.

I am 22 and sometimes I feel like I am 12. When I’m 12, I am a young girl and I listen to artists from my adolescent years, or I read until I get tired and the words become jumbled. Or I go on my old tumblr and look at images until they become swirls, and I spend my time daydreaming about going to different places. I cook my favorite comfort food or eat unhealthy things and lay on the couch to watch whatever my heart pleases, because I am in fact a young adult, and I am able to grant myself the permission my parents are no longer required to give me. On the days my maturity catches up to my age, I am 22. I am a young woman who sits and contemplates my life and future. I think about where I’d like to be in life and who I’d like to become. I read and write and dedicate some time to research all the things that may benefit my future, or places I know I’ll eventually fly away to for a while. I calculate expenses and bills and cram numbers in my head until my head hurts, and I end up giving myself a break. I work out to relieve my stress and shower so I can feel reborn again. I’ll cook myself a healthy meal because I love my body and recognize that I have to take care of myself. I watch adult dramas that 12 year old me would consider boring, until I get tired and the dialogue sounds like mush. I end up slipping into bed and wait for the music that I play at night to lull me to sleep, or until I get tired of thinking about everything and nothing.

As much as I miss being a kid, there is something freeing about being an adult. I can do what I want, whenever I want without anyone taking anything away from me. I can stay up late and go on a drive with music blasting out my car or stay in bed and watch the sky turn bright blue while the stars disappear. I can be who I want to be, even though I am a little scared of the world. I can map out how I’d like my life to unravel, and do my best to give myself everything I want. Realizing you can basically form your life to be however you want it to be, simply because you are of age is both freeing and intimidating.

Societal pressures to have it all together at such a young age makes everyone feel like they’re running out of time, as if they’re sixty years old already and withering away with each day, “wasted”. What exactly is everyone chasing? Success or notoriety? Financial stability or financial abundance? The way the world is set up today, the belief that, “more is better”, makes us believe we are falling behind if we feel complacent with normalcy. Don’t get me wrong, I want it all too, but I am slowly refining my ideologies and desires in life as I undergo more changes and experiences.

As a child, you never think about the mundane side of adulthood. Those days where routine seems too monotonous and boring, and your obligations deter you from having fun the way you thought you’d be having. You have to pay bills and actually cook for yourself, because you can’t live off your parents forever. The days in which I wake up and miss being a child feel like a regression, because I am past that era in my life. I am a young adult who pays bills now, so my innocence is not as intact as it used to be.

When I wake up and miss my youth, I try my hardest to ground myself. I want to crawl under the sheets and hide away from my grown fears and obligations, but I have to face my reality. Instead of shrinking, I allow my inner child to just be. It’s the reason why I jump on my bed at times, and listen to music while I dance in my room, or indulge in a little too much chocolate and eat more cookies than I should. Growing up isn’t what I thought it’d be, and neither is being an adult. The complexities of not-yet-being-a-full-adult-and-not-quite-being-a-child could be a little too much to handle sometimes, but I am hopeful for the future and that’s good enough for me.

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