I had a friend in uni who often declared, “At thirty, you’re an adult; your twenties are for experimenting you’ll know who you are at thirty. ” I wasn’t sure if I believed her but I suppose a part of me did. I’m now officially in my thirties and though I’m more mature, organized and kinder than I have ever been I still don’t feel like an adult.
As a child I couldn’t wait to be an adult. To call my own shots, know what I want and to be able to do it that was the lure of adulthood. As an adult I’m realizing that only children think this is what adulthood looks like. It’s not that adults don’t get to call our own shots but we’re very aware of the consequences. Sure I can stay up as late as I want! However, if I’ve got to work the next day I’ll be the one seeking caffeine and sugar shots at every opportunity. I appreciate bedtime.
Growing up I often heard, “She’s a grown woman! I can’t believe she’s acting/dressing/speaking that way.” So I internalized that there was a time limit associated with experimenting with life.
I didn’t let millennial get me down and I’m definitely not going to let other people’s interpretation of adult define me. Here’s the sort of person I want to be:
- I’ve been afraid of being judged so I don’t experiment too much or wear anything that I think is going to draw attention. Why not? If it makes me happy to see myself in an outfit why should I burden myself with fear.
- Open Minded
- I attended a meeting where 17-19 year olds shared how they use social media. The girls kept saying, “I know it’s so shallow but…” When I caught myself agreeing I gave myself a shake. They were taking on my judgement before I could give it. They were seeing themselves through the ‘adult’ eyes and feeling like shallow and silly girls. Once I caught the thought process I was able to change it. In the end I didn’t attend a panel with shallow teenagers, I attended a panel with teenagers who are hyper aware of the fact that what they share on social media is there forever.
- As a child I would put on shows before royalty, teach classes on pudding making, and travel through dangerous jungles with a wild dog. Was any of it real? Not strictly speaking, I was always aware of the difference between real and play but it never stopped me from enjoying my fantasy life. It was never a goal to live like Tarzan but it was fun to pretend until the ‘wild’ dog got fed up and went for a nap. Recently my dreams have been deeply rooted in reality: I shy away from dreaming of going on a cruise along the Nile or jumping out of a plane because I’ve mistaken dreams for goals. Why contemplate something I would never do? Because it’s fun!
What sort of person do you aim to be?