It’s a trap. A scheme. A cleverly constructed allusion many interpret as nothing more than a way of life. It’s slapped with the label of “responsibility” and packaged in “inevitability” and advertised as “necessary” while killing the burning hunger that fuels dreams and feeds desires.
It masquerades in three piece business suits and hides behind confusing spreadsheets and is celebrated in promotions. It builds comparisons instead of support and jealousy instead of community and hatred instead of joy. It buries friends under packed calendars and cuts curiosity with a safety knife while whispering in your ear, “You’re an adult.”
It leaves you believing miracles can’t happen on a Wednesday.
It keeps you from seeing that failure is growth and rejection is incentive and pain is nothing more than pleasure showing up two hours too late. You become obsessed with a meaningless status and mesmerized by the contrived landmarks that divide your life into easily defined sections. Sections that heedlessly determine if you’re educated or loveable or hirable or worthless.
So you race.
You ignore sunsets and dismiss mountains and forget the smiles that once made you feel alive. You fail to lose yourself in heavy-handed words and stained pages and the intoxicating music that left you drunk on melody for weeks. You trade in wide-eyed wonder and unbridled curiosity for a hurried existence, hell-bent on being the first to marry or buy a house or reach a benchmark of shallowly-labeled importance.
You build walls of disdain and call them protection, unable to find the time to feel anything but synthetic happiness. You stop trusting and call it a lesson, unable to pencil in the people worth every ounce of affliction imaginable.
But it’s really no different than the fervent belief in Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny or love at first sight. Its existence is completely reliant on the young minds who blindly believe, cashing in their youth for a brand of success society has created.
It isn’t about forgoing responsibility. You had obligations when you were a toddler, they’ve just transformed alongside you. Instead of turning in a high school paper you’re turning in bills. Instead of keeping nap time you keep dates. Instead of focusing on not peeing your pants…
Well. Some things never change.
So fight it.
Refuse to let it determine the people you love or the places you see or the lazy days in which you feel accomplished in nothing. Refuse to let it keep you from standing still or smiling wildly or laughing like a child evading social constructs. Don’t let it keep you from the nights you could have danced on tables or the person you could have fallen in love with or the moments you could have found beauty in devilish pain.
Don’t. Grow. Up.