365- Month Six / by Amanda Powell

A Short Essay on Growing Up

Funny how when you're a kid, and in my case, obsessed with growing up, you don't realize all the limitations you'll encounter as an adult. The hard choices to make, which decide the priorities of your life. The energy needed to turn existence truly what you want, instead of letting it shape itself. 

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be a kid again.

I did everything I could (within moral reason, I was a total goodie goodie) to accelerate adulthood. At 12, I started thinking about the person I would marry (I mean, really?? Stop you knuckle head, you’re freaking everyone out). I accepted any responsibility with a huge smile on my face. I followed the rules because it would propel me to maturity faster than my counterparts. I hung out on the fringes of adult conversation. If I found myself where the kids were, the environment was annoying, and just not relatable. No thank you. Not the kids squabbling over a barbie or raging against injustices regarding nerf gun bullet distribution. I didn't care about that stuff; it wasn't interesting. I wanted to be with the people who, in my mind, were doing something, discussing issues, solving problems. The adults. 

And also the people in charge to how much cookie dough you could eat, but aaannnyway...

Looking back on childhood, I can understand my perspective. I still don’t relate to some kid behaviors or ideas (which makes parenting a fun learning experience, lemme tell you). But I do wish I had realized just how much freedom there was in childhood. How much I could do as a kid, with no strings attached, that just can’t happen as an adult. (granted there were a few blips in my timeline that required me to be way more grown up that I should have had to be, but that’s a different story)

AND ADULTHOOD:

Adulthood comes with a price, and it’s worth paying for sure. But you will be tired, and all that childhood energy will be lacking a bit. Work will be work. There is no free money. There are tons of ruts to be stuck in and a crazy amount of sacrifice to be made. Passion will ebb and flow, and following it is complete folly because folks, passion isn't and NEVER was a guaranteed constant. Cookie dough, in excess will make you put on weight, or worst case, very sick. There are plenty of people not doing anything in life, except making it hard for others, and sometimes it will be very difficult to get away from those people. Some days will be total wastes, and at times feel like it's not worth any of it. You’ll want to just turn on Netflix, and check out... And then, if you decide or are able to have children, crank all that up to 11, yo.

But I do want to encourage you, if you’ve still stuck around to read this far, that life is so worth all the hard stuff. Childhood had it’s perks, but being grown up absolutely does too. I prefer it. Adulthood doesn’t have to be a death sentence to all you are. Parenthood isn’t that either. All of those things are tough, but there is so much good to be had if we choose it. SO much to be thankful for.  

Perspective is a beautiful gift life continues to give. Negative experiences are opportunities. Screw ups are opportunities. Sacrifices are opportunities. Growing up is an opportunity denied to many, to paraphrase one of my favorite quotes.  What is it you want from life? Do you have what you’ve always wanted, but are you taking it for granted? 

What can we do with all this freedom adulthood affords? How can we grow? What decisions can we make that will result in more resources to pursue the things we truly want? What decisions can we make that will affect us positively, with good long term gains? What things can we be happy with now? More importantly, when will I have the time to make more cookie dough??!?

Oh hey, and also-here's the month of June in pictures! HA!