I bet you remember it too. Being a little kid. Having your parents tell you, “No, you can’t post cusswords on MySpace. You have plenty of time to post whatever you want when you’re grown up.” Or something along those lines.
I remember this dreaded response my parents would have whenever I was up to no good. “But it is going to be such a long time before I’m a grown up!” That’s what I would think. Hours of daydreaming would be spent about all the fabulous things I was going to do as a grown up. I practically counted down the minutes until I graduated high school and moved out of my parent’s house.
Well, here I am. Twenty-one years old and preparing to graduate college. I think that means I’ve officially hit “grown-up” status.
Yeah, it’s cool to be able to do whatever I want. I have no Donald Trump, no one to be the boss of me. So why is it that I can’t stop crying and reminiscing about the past?
Because growing up is weird.
Pro: My parents actually love me and don’t want to ruin my life?
It’s not like I ever thought they didn’t love me. However, there were definitely dramatic times where I thought they wanted to ruin my life (because I couldn’t go to a friend’s house or something stupid). But I understand it now. I understand why they did some of the things that made me want to scream. They love me. I’m very lucky my parents instilled values into me. I’m also appreciative they didn’t let me grow up to be a complete idiot. I’m starting to see my parent’s traits in myself, and that makes me proud.
Con: You mean I have to pay bills and stuff?
An obvious statement, but a true one. Yeah, it’s cool I can buy whatever I want. Hopefully what I want is a cell phone plan, warm water, groceries and to pay off my student loans. Because that’s what my money is getting me.
Pro: Want to grab a beer?
I can legally drink now. That is a cool part about being a grown-up. Being able to have a beer with my dad is something I cherish. It’s also nice to not be that buzz kill who can’t go to the bars anymore.
Con: Why is everything changing?
I’m working hard. I’m ready to grow. Why does that also mean my family has to get older, my close friends have to become distant and I can no longer live in my childhood home? In my ideal world I would do the changing and everything I loved would stay the same.
Pro: Am I wiser than I once was?
Yes. Trust me, I know I’m still young. I’m also not an idiot teenager anymore. I care more about being a good person. I’m way more motivated. I don’t put up with being treated like crap. I understand that what I do now does indeed influence my future. I’m no longer riding in cars at questionable times or posting “emo” selfies of myself on MySpace (thank goodness Instagram wasn’t a thing when I was in highschool).
Con: Does this feeling ever end?
I feel like everything seems so weird because I’m at a weird point in my life. But does the sense of life being weird ever go away? Will I, do people, always feel weird about growing up? Every year is a new adventure. No one has ever said, “Oh it’s my birthday, but it’s okay. I know what to expect because I’ve been that age before.” No one has said that, because it’s an impossible statement.
Pro: A new day, a new start?
Yes. Every new day brings a new start. A chance to try again or try something new. A chance to impact someone’s life or meet someone special. It’s cheesy, but hey, it’s true.
Maybe these pros and cons aren’t necessarily for growing up. Maybe they’re for life. And as I get older I start to realize them more and more. The pros of growing up outweigh the cons. They have to. Because no matter how weird life gets, all we can do is move forward.