I woke up this morning with my heart feeling heavier than usual. Sometimes when you feel bad, you cannot pinpoint exactly why, you just feel. Lazy and uninterested in the world, I lie in bed and scroll around on social media. I look at the clock and suddenly it is an hour later. Now I have no choice but to get my day started.
As I scramble to put my life together in T minus 20 minutes, I catch myself in the mirror. When did all of this rushing around begin to take over my life? When did the years start to go by faster than they should? When did things start getting so cutthroat and serious? When did growing become so hard? I might not have growing pains in my legs or arms anymore, but I feel them more than ever.
Adult life in Western society rarely gives us an opportunity to slow things down. We are always looking at the next deadline, the next grocery visit, and the next bill to pay. We do not have the time, like when we were young, to be obtrusively aware of every moment passing by. When were children, we are all too aware, so we wanted time to go by faster. We could not wait to grow up. Now that we are all adults, we barely can find the time to even watch a full movie with our friends or family. Time feels like it is always running out.
Things get serious really quickly once you have to start paying your bills on your own. Reality hits like a ton of bricks and you know if you stay inside watching cartoons all day and do not go to work, you might not have a home to live in by next month. When we were children, we just got told what to do by our parents. Now as adults, it seems we get bullied from every corner of our lives: our job, our roommates, our spouses, and even ourselves. I wish I could just use the line, “You are not my mom!” when someone tries to tell me what to do, just like I used to when I was little. Unfortunately, it does not work like that anymore.
I feel like people get a lot more mean and hardened when they grow up. When we are young, we have not been through much that can cause psychological or emotional damage. As we go through the wonderful milestones of adulthood, heartbreaks, disappointments, and regrets, we shut down the open part of us that thrived when we were children. I think that is what people see when they call others “young at heart.” They are still open to new realms of thought, not hardened by life.
I also think we all become very nostalgic for our childhoods. All of the frustrations that were real then have melted away in our memories, leaving only fond reflections of the past. Childhood seems like a vacation compared to our lives now. However, what is important to remember is that your childhood is not gone. All of your past experiences dwell inside of you and make you who you are, good or bad. I will always miss the days I spent hours watching horror movies with my cousins, but it is pretty darn nice to be able to buy Oreos at Walmart at two o’clock in the morning because I am an adult.
Published by Odyssey Online on Feb. 8, 2016