From a young age, I would always wonder what it would be like to feel grown up. When does it happen? How does it happen? Is there a timer inside each one of us that goes off and says, “it’s time” when we have to accept that we’ve grown up? Is it something that takes time to develop? As a child, these thoughts actually did go through my mind (a little weird I know, but then again, I’m a weird guy). I dreaded these thoughts because I didn’t ever want to grow up. I would hope that there was a real life Peter Pan to come down and take me away to Neverland (sorry Michael Jackson, not Neverland Ranch, thank you very much!). It scared me to grow up. I don’t know why, but I just never felt comfortable with the idea of growing up. It happens to us all, but when?
I look around at all my friends to try and judge where I am in my life. Some of my friends are really successful, hard working (or hardly working) individuals that make a nice living for themselves and others are really just starting to get things figured out for themselves, at least in terms of what they want to do with their lives. A few still live at home, a few have places of their own. In comparison, I’m a late 20′s male, who lives at home but at one time lived on his own. I work full time and I plan on taking weekend classes at a local college beginning in January. So where am I in comparison? I’m not certain really.
As far as how we all relate to each other, each group of friends that I have are all pretty much the same. We like having fun, we like going out, we discuss serious topics that bother us and we also talk about things that have no relevance in our lives at all. We like to drink, we like to eat, and (for the most part) we try our hardest to better ourselves in some way, shape or form. Does the ability to have a legal drink mean that I’m grown up? When I was twenty-one I was responsible with how I drank, but did that mean I was growing up or using common sense? Because I have the ability not to eat everything in my path and control my eating habits, by eating healthy, does that mean I am taking steps towards true adulthood? If that’s the case, I have been a “grown-up” since I was roughly nineteen or twenty years old! There must be some other way to figure this out…
Based upon how I feel, my own perspective on things, I still feel the same about most things as I did when I was in college. Some thoughts have changed, but overall, everything has, more or less, stayed the same. When I lived on my own, it was one of the best times of my life. There was more freedom (although I’m not at all saying that I’m restricted at home now, but I just think things through before doing them at home) to do whatever I wanted, a lack of responsibility, which actually seems a bit more childish. So the ability to have your own place doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a grown up. As for being twenty-one, the legal age of drinking, I’ve seen many an idiotic instance that involved people around this age to know that this is not a good barometer to determine someone’s adulthood. So back to the question, am I a grown up now?
In some ways yes, and in some ways no. Overall, I know how to have fun, when I’m out with people, without the help of drinking too much. If I were to live on my own, I would be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle, as I do now (the only difference is I would be cooking and washing dishes more, thanks Mom and Dad!!). So, in these particular instances, yes, I guess I’m a grown up. But, I still see the world with “kid” eyes. As I said earlier, I still view most things the same way I did in college. So it doesn’t feel like I’m getting any more mature, and I can still let loose on a nice alcohol bender and lose my mind, that’s not mature either.
So what determines our being an adult? I say the ability to take care of oneself as a contributing member of society without having to be looked after by others. In this case, everyone enters adulthood at different times. I know 20 year olds that are more mature than I am! As for myself, I’m close, I can discuss academics and politics (if you wish) but I can also talk about the latest video game craze that has me sitting in front of the computer or television for hours on end (they are fun, what do you want from me!). I can read War and Peace, or the latest Batman comic. In the end though, I still consider myself a child in transition to adulthood. And you know what? I actually prefer it that way.
Currently Listening To:
MGMT – Electric Feel