For those of you on Facebook, we see this almost daily in someone’s status. We usually laugh it off, make funny comments, or just scroll on by because it’s, well, old news, as the saying goes.
But after a few long and difficult months, I think giving up being an adult sounds like a really good thing! I’ve tried it for a lot of years now. The first few were kind of fun. I could sort of do as I wanted and no one told me I couldn’t. Well, that’s not entirely true, because the first few years as an adult I was in college, and I had to do what our instructors said in order to get decent grades, but that’s different.
When we were in high school we couldn’t wait to be 21 and be “adults,” whatever that meant. And yes, back then, you weren’t really an adult til you were 21, although you could get married and serve in the military at 18. And when we graduated from high school at 18, many of us started careers or got married…before we were really “adults.” We couldn’t wait to be grown up, to be adults.
We thought life would suddenly be great when we really became “adults.” Well, that suddenly happened. But it wasn’t the way we expected.
The world we thought we had grown up in, the world that seemed to have so many opportunities and such a bright future, took on a new look of war, social unrest, and rioting. And we realized that maybe being an adult wasn’t quite what it was all rumored to be.
Adulting came with responsibilities, and a lot of them we weren’t ready for. And many of us still aren’t, although we have no choice.
Adulting means making decisions we really don’t want to make; decisions that affect our lives, as well as other people’s, for the rest of our lives. If we make the wrong one, there’s no one around to fix it for us. We have to live with it or work really hard to turn things around.
We thought being an adult would make our lives simple. Instead we had to work for a living; no parents to pay our way any more. We had bills to pay, cars to buy and repair, rent or mortgages to pay. We had to buy our own food, and prepare it, on a daily basis.
Suddenly we became parents, and had responsibilities for our own children. And wondered how our parents ever did it! Raising children was certainly not as easy as we thought.
And then there were the adult problems that came along as we aged. Our health, or our friends’ or loved ones’ health, began to deteriorate. Addictions and rehab became a part of many of our friends’ lives. Serious illnesses attacked many of us or our loved ones, changing our lives forever.
The ones we married and thought would love us forever didn’t. Many of us experienced divorce, and sometimes even more than once. And it was nothing like the breakups we had in high school…the ones we never thought we’d recover from. Until we found someone else the next week.
No, divorce was far worse than that, and we really began to wonder why being an adult was supposed to be so great. Being a child was much easier.
Being an adult is tough. No matter how old we are. It’s a huge responsibility.
So many times we look at our kids, or our grandkids, as the case now is, and for a moment or two we think how wonderful it would be to have that childhood innocence back; to be a child whose biggest concerns are what they’re going to play with next, what their mom or dad is going to fix for dinner, and how they’ll avoid going to bed too early.
And I think back to those long ago times when our own lives were like that. And yes, I get nostalgic and wish I could stop being an adult for awhile and just be a child again. No worries and no responsibilities.
But then, would we want to go through growing up again? Through all it entailed? Would we want to face becoming an adult again and having to go through all the rough times again?
No. Probably not. At least I wouldn’t. That would mean we’d give up the loved ones we have now…our spouses and kids and grandkids…and start over without them.
But it’s nice to just imagine times being so simple again. And to think about what we’d do different.
And in reality, we’d probably do the same things all over again.