What it means to be a grown up

May 8, 2012
“What does it mean to be a grown-up?” What does that mean? Is she asking for our thoughts on grown ups? The common perception of grown ups? Or the kind of adults we wish to be? I’m not sure but the third question is the one I really want to answer. And to do that, I need to focus on the first two as well.

I was never one of those kids who couldn’t wait to be a grown up. In fact, I didn’t entirely trust them. Which isn’t to say I was uncomfortable around them; I was certainly more comfortable around them than I was with my own peers. But I didn’t quite get them, didn’t feel the need to.

There’s a line I read in a book in 8th grade that’s stuck with me all these years. “All the grown ups I’ve ever met are just as immature as every kid I’ve ever met. The adults are just allowed to get away with it.” Though I no longer think it’s not quite so black and white, but a lot of it still rings true.

I philosophised a lot as a kid. Still do. But I remember a few gems I came up with on my own. “Only a fool thinks he knows everything.” “Don’t aspire to be an adult. Aspire to be something more.”

Part of me can’t help but associate coffee with grown-ups. If that’s the case then I’ll never grow up. I can’t stand the taste of coffee, and the same goes for alcohol. I have discovered a love for tea, though.

As for sex… heh. I remember when I was fourteen, vowing to never engage in it (needless to say, that’s a vow I intend to break). But I remember the moment I think I first started awakening to something. This guy was talking psychology, about how people show who they truly are after sex… and I remember thinking that I wanted to learn who he really was… of course, he turned out to be a jerk. Fortunately, sex was not needed to learn that.

I believe you start growing up when you start caring about other people. Truly caring, wanting what’s best for them… even if it’s not best for you. No matter how much it hurts, standing by them.

I think part of the illusion lies in that we think of growing up like scaling a mountain – you reach the top, and it’s all downhill from there. But the thing is we never stop growing, changing.

The point of growing up is to understand the world around us. And if we just toss aside what we used to be, carelessly dump it by the wayside, we lose some of that understanding.

I’m 17 and I can’t help but feel that I understand things far better than many adults. But I still have a ways to go.

Don’t worry about me, though. I have an inner child who’ll keep me strictly in line (No matter what, I’ll always love Pokemon!)





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