On Growing Up

What does it mean to be an adult?

If you had asked me a year ago, I would’ve said “having a drawer full of plastic bags,” or “asking for a mop for Christmas.” But my definition of adulthood is shifting.

I’m realising more and more that growing up is a group effort.  Everyone is so connected. We are intertwined — we breathe and grow toward a common goal.  So, when we’re caught in the uncertainty of growing up, why do we feel disconnected and alone?

We feel like we should know how to be an adult. We don’t share our doubts and anxieties with anyone because we should just know what to do.  But, does anyone really know what growing up means? Does it mean moving away from everything we know? Does it mean finding lovers in best friends or doing things we’ll regret because we’ll need good stories to tell when we’re older?

Does it mean losing that childhood innocence we keep tucked under our beds? Does it mean regretting every mistake? Does it mean learning from every mistake?  Is growing up about learning to let go, or is it actually about holding on? I am afraid of growing up. I am afraid I am going to miss too many things, and I am afraid of never being good enough. But most of all, I am afraid of the future.

The pessimist in me wonders if you grow up when you realise that the world is not obligated to care. Or if you grow up when you’re in a one room apartment in a whole new city, in a whole new country, and you break down and cry because there is an eight-hour time difference between you and your mom, and you don’t have international cell coverage. You’re freaking out because you swore you packed your baby blanket, and now you can’t find it. Is moving past your security blankets what it means to be an adult?

The truth is, we’re never going to get our “grown up” badges and suddenly have that perfect life we wanted. I think growing up is having to ask yourself what makes you happy, what makes you enjoy waking up in the morning, what can’t you live without and what you can.

Growing up is determining how you find meaning, and discovering how can you maximize your happiness. Having a career, a loving partner, and  a family can be part of growing up, but the most important thing is to be happy. Because that’s the true goal. Happiness.

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2 Responses

  1. Ali says:

    love this

  2. Rachel says:

    Thank you 🙂