I remember as a kid, even teenagers seemed like grown-ups to me, let alone 30-year-olds! By the time you're 30, you have a career and a house and a husband and kids and everything! Or so I thought.
Sure, I have a job, and it's a real job insomuch as it involves neither working a cash register nor dunking a basket of French fries into hot oil. I even have a 401k. I own a condo on which I pay a monthly mortgage and remember to change the furnace filter every three months. I've managed to keep a cat alive for almost 10 years. That's all sort of grown-up stuff.
But despite all that, I don't really feel like a grown-up. And being among other grown-ups, even those who are decades older than I am, I learn that such a thing may not even exist. Maybe there was a time when they did, but I don't think I've met one.
We're all just big kids playing real life. We do what we have to in order to, you know, live —perhaps even thrive — some of us become emotionally mature and/or brainy, and we engage in adult behavior such as driving cars and boning. We enjoy poignant witticisms that we would never have understood as children, but maintain that farts are also funny.
People spend their childhoods preparing to be grown-ups. They play house, determine their dream jobs, ask adults about sex and money. As teenagers, we even insist that we are grown-ups and claim to have things all figured out. IN YOUR FACE PARENTS! But then you get out of college and you realize, wait, THIS is grown up? It's not really so much like you imagined. You have relationships, they fail. You have a job, but it's not a career. You don't think all the grown-up thoughts that you thought grown-ups thought.
Yes, Virginia, there is a such thing as a grown-up. But really it's not the wearing-suits, smelling-perfumey, eating-bran, no-toy-having bore we expected. I think as grown-ups, we can all be thankful that our childhood ideas of adults were not quite accurate. Despite what we thought grown up would be as kids, our imaginations kept it fun, and despite what adulthood entails, it doesn't change who we are.
Watch Out, The Future's Coming
Growing Up From A Former Child's Point Of View
A Radio Free Chicago Mix
"Yes, the world could be cold, yes, the world could be cruel. Sometimes the only thing that you or I could do is laugh about it, cry about it, dance around it like another fool."
"Life's been so unkind to you. Never does what you want it to."
"I don't want a kid and I can't keep being one."
"Remember how it used to be? You were young and love was cheap."
"Don't know where we are going. It seems we're always running."
"And they say it's only natural. They say we're coming along just fine, but I can't help thinking we grew up too fast."
"Everyone I know is no good, everyone is no good at nothin' at all. They say we're wasting such great potential."
"I don't wanna grow old. Bring me all the toys you can find."
"Scuffing down the city street, heading for the clock on. Bought a Daily Record like a real man."
"There is plenty to criticize; it gets so easy to narrow these eyes. But these eyes will stay wide. I will stay young — young and dumb inside."