It is feared, awaited with horror, and anticipated with disgust about who you are going to be. We try to postpone it as much as possible, push it away from us and try to cling as hard as we can to the status quo. No one wants to be this responsible, dull, fun-less adult that cares about future savings and loyalty points in their local supermarket. But you know what? Screw all these images, forget about these cliché connotations some boring-ass TV-ads implanted in your heads – growing up is amazing!
I wanna say it again: Growing up is awesome! I don’t mean the actual entire process of growing up from being born to the very end (let’s just call that life, for simplicity reasons?), but the point where you realize you actually managed to grow up now. That turning point, that threshold between being a naïve youngster and a fully responsible adult. Because yes, there is a line, and one day we all gotta cross it, sooner or later: Just imagine yourself crossing a finishing line at a marathon, imagine that moment you reach the goal as the first, and you run through this paper band (I have never finished a marathon first, but it surely is like that?), and everyone applauds you because you made it, and you are great and the best – YOU GREW UP!
But how can it be amazing, you ask? Don’t we have to stop being childish, or having fun, and isn’t it a shitload of work? Hell, no! It’s not! It’s just awesome! Ok, maybe it won’t be with an audience and a finishing-line-paper-band, but this moment in which you realize that some things are just not so important, and other things are, and the most valuable character in your own personal movie is and will always be yourself, you instantly become so relaxed. Less stressed. You can trust in yourself, and nothing should be going wrong. Welcome, now you grew up.
Like, do you remember all these times when you wanted to do something, but none of your partners in crime had time to join? Or when you really wanted to go to this concert, but no one else seemed willing to pay an extraordinarily amount of money to see what you claim to be the one and only hero of music – so you ended up not going, either? Well, here’s the good news: Once you grew up, you realize you can actually do stuff on your own! By yourself! Yes, and it will still be fun – or even more so!
But it is the company that makes the event worthy, everyone knows that – right? Well, yes, but there’s also hundreds of other people who go there for the actual event and not just as company for someone who goes there for the actual event, so how about you let them be your company? Go, suck in the atmosphere, be part of a group of people you might not have known before and might not see ever again, just for that moment – because hey, that’s what life is about, anyways! Friends come and stay and then leave again, some after some months, some after years, some maybe at the end of a lifetime. They are just visitors in your life. You can value them, you can appreciate them, but your life does not depend on them.
If you want to go out for a fancy dinner, go out for a fancy dinner. If you want to see a movie, go to the cinema. If you like snowboarding, you can also just go by yourself and snowboard. You don’t need to start doing everything alone now (unless you really want to), but isn’t it nice to know that you actually could? Cook, eat, sports, travel – there are no limits. You will be alone, but you won’t be lonely – it can be very relaxing to spend time only with your own mind and no one else. You don’t even need to talk things out loud, and most of the time you agree with your own thoughts – how awesome is that?
Also, you become so much less stressed about finding company once you realized that you don’t necessarily need any. If you want to do something, you can still announce to your friends that you’ll be doing this, and that they are welcome to join, but now you don’t need to wait for an answer anymore. If someone wants to join, they can. But if they leave you hanging for days and rather wait for any other, maybe better opportunity to pop up, screw them – it might be too late for them then, and next time they’ll know better. Or not. Who actually cares?
Yes, caring less about unimportant stuff is probably the most awesome feature of growing up. You can stop caring about not having company for things you want to do, and you can stop caring about people who are trying to bullshit you. You simply have neither the time (another feature when growing up: being so busy with work that you automatically stop caring about unimportant things simply due to the fact that a day has no more than 24 hours) nor the insecurity left to be thinking about what people might be thinking about you.
So what leads to this actual crossing-the-threshold-growing-up-feeling is you being busy with work and life and responsibilities you hopefully get a decent salary for. And the side effects are you becoming independent, self-confident, and determined. I have to stress this self-confidence thing again: Being an insecure teenager/early-twenties-er/mid-twenties-er/late-twenties-er wasn’t so much fun, after all.
And the best side-effect: You end up doing mostly only things you really want to do. See, growing up is SO MUCH fun! And now I gotta go and find myself an ice cream, some cotton candy, and a Gin Tonic – just because I can. Later!