Losing the Battle Against Adulthood

child-old

Do you ever find yourself wondering when you became an adult? According to the law that happens when you turn 18 or 21, but it’s not like a switch suddenly flips in your brain on your birthday. Becoming an adult is a gradual process, although realising you are one hits hard and when you when you least expect it.

Like that moment when you are grocery shopping and it dawns on you that your cart has broccoli but no chocolate and you do absolutely nothing to fix that. Or that moment when you are waiting at the dentist’s office and you realise that you voluntarily came there even though you are still terrified of having someone poke around your mouth with sharp objects. Or my least favourite, that moment when you involuntarily make a sound of disapproval upon seeing an unknown child litter, and they turn around, look you in the eye and actually pick up what they threw on the ground. Those are the moments of disbelief where you wonder where your childhood went.

Inexplicably, childhood dreams of wanting to be rock stars or major sports players have silently disappeared only to be replaced by ‘practical dreams’ like mechanical engineering or human resources. And it dawns on you that the words ‘you can be anything you want to be’ no longer hold true. Forty is kind of late to decide you want to enter medical school given that you didn’t even take high school biology. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but by that point you probably are thinking with that practical adult brain of yours.

And then there’s the realisation that maybe there are eighty year olds out there who would love to trade their knitting needles to play on the slides in the playground but are worried about social convention. Well… either that or breaking a hip. Perhaps as you attempt to decipher how you can feel exactly the same as you did when you were seventeen but somehow still make responsible choices, it is time to realise that there just might be a distinction between childhood and youth. Maybe young and stupid go hand in hand but young at heart can damn well be paired with common sense.

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