I believe we’d all agree that the age a person is supposed to assume adulthood entirely is 18. But how many can boldly say that they only became adults at that age?
For all I know, most people had to grow up before their age. They had to assume responsibilities that were bigger than their age. So, in essence, most people become adults before they turned 18.
For some, life forced them to grow up faster than they were supposed to. For others, watching other grown-ups was exciting and inspiring. So much so that they longed for it badly.
I remember fantasising about how blissful my adulthood would be as a kid. I wanted to go out as often as my parents and older siblings did, come back home and have everyone run towards me to welcome me.
I craved independence like it was going to correct everything that was going wrong in my life at that time. Freedom to me then meant not living with my parents and doing whatever I wanted to do.
Well, God heard my cries and granted my innermost heart desires, or did He?
Many years down the road, away from my parents and siblings, I still don’t feel free. My meaning of ‘adulthood’ has been altered by life. I have become one of the persons who see adulthood as the multifaceted path to doom.
Are you still excited about the idea of living on your own, doing things on your own, and having lots of responsibilities? I bet not.
Are you currently living your meaning of ‘adulthood’? If you are, that’s a luxury you should be highly grateful for; not many can afford it.
We all grew up not knowing how our imaginary adulthood will come to fruition. And even when life has shown us a whole new meaning of the word, we are still hoping that somehow, someday, our fantasies will come to reality.
It gets more complex by the day: this life we didn’t choose, but one we must somehow see through to the end. Responsibilities to take care of here and there. Disappointments, constantly doubting ourselves and our ability to do great in life and battling a series of mental health issues happen due to life.
The pressure to succeed in life is also weighing on us heavily, especially when we watch other people living the life we desire. Yet, no matter how hard we try to change, there’s no escaping the reality of the world we live in. There’s no dodging the true essence of adulthood.
If adulthood is a phase of our lives that we can’t escape, how do we then live through it without losing ourselves in the process?
There’s no manual to getting through this phase. What worked for our parents may seem difficult for us. The only way we can learn how to navigate through adulthood is by living it.
My favourite quote is, “You have to be in it to know it.”
So, to know how to be an adult, be an adult. If that entails crying, worrying, learning, unlearning, making mistakes, hurting, forgiving… so be it.
Maybe the adults we grew up with made adulthood seem like an easy phase. They didn’t cry for us to see or complain when they were hurting. Instead, they carried out the tasks like nothing, so we assume it was easy.
What do you wish you had known about adulthood when you were younger? Could you share them with the next growing person? Soon, it’ll be their turn.
Contrary to the belief that adulthood is the multifaceted path to doom, there’s beauty in each lesson we learn, each way we cross, each win we bag, the love we feel, the friendships, the relationships and so on, despite the various challenges.
Adulthood is a phase; live through it. Embrace it’s reality. Believe it or not, many would give anything for a chance to experience adulthood in life.