Today, I found myself getting irritated from the squishy sounds my soaked shoes made. It had just stopped raining and I had accidentally stepped on a puddle and the wet footwear coupled with the usual jostling of passengers going inside the train had me silently fuming through the ride home. Getting all worked up about wet footwear got me thinking about how much I’ve changed. As a kid I would not have minded things like this.
Puddles used to be the most fun thing in the world. I remember stepping on every puddle with glee when I go home from school after the rain. Now, when I happen to even semi-step on an itsy-bitsy one, I freak out. What a boring, adult thing to do.
I’ve been known as the type to resist adulthood. I found the very idea of living responsibly day in and day out incredibly boring. And yet, rather suddenly, I find myself working and surviving in the “real” world. So this got me started on a list of the things I dislike about being a so-called “adult” and this is what I came up with:
I now have a built-in filtering mechanism. I go crazy thinking about what to say, how to say it, and how much to say. However, I still end up saying stupid stuff to the wrong people or saying the wrong stuff to stupid people–or even talking to people I don’t actually want to talk to (a.k.a. small talk). I miss being a kid and having the license to say every darn thing I want.
I have to pretend to be nice. I am not the sort you would call a “nice” person. But I am not a bad person, either. So I would very much like to reserve the right to be nice when I want to be and be mean when I want to be. But I have long surrendered that right and have this default smile so I’m not accused of having bad manners.
I can’t be too much of an idealist. I keep being told to “be realistic,” “be practical,” “look at the world from a pragmatic sense of view,” “get your head out of the clouds…” I remember getting fed up over this. I’ve always been quite the bright-eyed idealist prone to romantic notions of the world and so I vowed that I would not take my head out of the clouds to please anybody. And yet, just a couple of days ago I heard myself telling my sister to “be practical…” I cringed. But it’s too late. Apparently, I have already let them convince me to plant my feet firmly on the ground.
I can’t believe in Cinderella anymore. Supposedly because princes on white horses don’t exist, true love is a load of bull and people who believe in love at first sight are delusional. But there’s still a part of me that wants to go to the ball with glass slippers on, wistfully looking out the window for the fairy godmother that will make my dreams come true.
I no longer have a use for band-aids. Adults have wounds in places where band-aids are completely useless. But I’d give anything to have the kind of troubles that a trusty band-aid could solve.
But mostly, I hate looking around and being more inclined to see the bad than the good. I don’t know when I stopped being a kid, but I wished I had paid more attention.
But then again, maybe I still have a bit of that kid in me. The part that still believes that shooting stars grant wishes and that rainbows are real and not some trick of the light. And maybe if I listened to that kid more often, I would start seeing more of the good and the sight of a puddle would once again be reason enough make my day.