Growing Up Millennial
A constant déjà vu. The Thought Catalog had a pretty good idea about the woes of getting old: From bills you thought you already paid, to memories you thought you already made – the ones where the feeling was the same but the scenery a little changed…
It’s hard growing up, or even talking about growing up. Right now even, as I’ve decided to process the exhilarating misfortune that is the adulting process, I’m coming up blank.
Because honestly, I don’t know what growing up is.
Is it finding a job?
And a boyfriend?
And nightly activities with work buddies?
Or finding yourself?
And making change.
Creating something long-lasting?
Making a mark?
There’s so much pressure to ‘grow up right;’ to ‘be an adult’ as if any one of us has been doing it right (as if the adult-fairy replaced the tooth-fairy once we turned 18 and started sprinkling 401Ks under our pillow cases). No, nothing magical is done as you get older. They don’t give you a certificate or a silver dollar, you just kind of jump in and pray the ropes don’t hit you on the way down (well you do get a diploma and such ***plot twist: they don’t really give the diploma to you, more like they sell it to you for 10% of a million dollars — it’s your million dollar baby, for real*** and quality assurance is not guaranteed).
Growing up is hard.
Nobody wants to do it — I look at my younger sisters (4 and 2) in envy at their imposed 'none-the-wiser' and fantasize about snatching their blissful ignorance like Swiper, the No-Swiper in Dora the Explorer’s epic adventures. That ignorance is mine.
But it’s also ignorance.
It’s easy to assume the position of a child when it seems so enticing: an unlimited supply of mistakes with a super-sized addition of irresponsibility. But as time goes on, we grow to want to be in the driver’s seat of our own lives, able to make our own decisions – ones that actually benefit, ya know, the people around us. Adulting comes not with ‘growing up,’ but with ‘growing out’ of childish ignorance, and taking responsibility for the occurrences in our lives. Adulting happens when we stop blaming Swiper for stealing our stuff — our bags, and money and jewelry and hope — and start realizing, ‘hey, maybe I actually lost it.’
And maybe I can change it.
I guess growing up is simply that: change. It’s the money in our pockets and the wisdom that bought it. It’s accepting what you can’t change and working hard to change it anyway.
Growing up is simply, owning your life.