Thursday, February 27, 2020
When I was young, I was eager to grow up and become an adult. Adults have freedom! They can do whatever they want! Adults can eat candy all day and their mothers can't stop 'em.
Reality differs from childhood wishes. Being an adult is hard. Some say it sucks and I won't argue with that. Certainly adulthood is difficult -- we have to worry about money, making a living and doing unpleasant things. Our parents become less willing to support us so we need to figure out other ways to survive. Like college and jobs. Ugh.
Adulthood diminishes our dreams. We realize we're not going to be ballerinas, astronauts or professional baseball players. Instead we need to struggle and, unless your parents are rich and easing your path, doing well requires sustained effort.
I achieved my career goals but I didn't expect it to be so hard. The journey changed my outlook. Rather than soaring easily to vast heights, I trudged a slow slog up the career ladder. Doing just a little better than the year before was usually good enough. Boredom at work became a relief since it meant I wasn't actively miserable -- and anxiety was pain I grew to know with frequency. For decades, possessing a net worth of zero was my goal because that would mean I'd climbed out of crippling debt from school loans and credit cards. My expectations evolved in the wrong direction. And don't get me started on physical aging. Ouch.
"When you become a teenager, you step onto a bridge....The opposite shore is adulthood. Childhood lies behind. The bridge is made of wood. As you cross it, it burns behind you." (Gail Carson Levine)
When you were a kid, what did you think adulthood was going to be like?