Peter’s got the right idea

Why grow up? It’s hard and boring and scary as all hell.

We all remember being kids and wanting nothing but to get older so we’ll be allowed to stay up late and watch the PG programs on TV. I had some idea of waking up on my 18th birthday and inherently knowing how to be an adult. I would walk around and people would just know: that there’s a responsible, all grown up, 100% adult. I’d be respected and be an automatic genius. And best of all: I wouldn’t have to listen when Mommy said I had to say goodbye to my friends at the end of the day. We would have sleepovers every night and stay up till 12 AM playing Pokemon. Yup. Being an adult would be great.

I am what you’d call an almost adult. I’m an almost adult and all I’ve gotten was the right to join the army, operate a vehicle could kill or at least maim others if I happened to get distracted, and have sex (okay this one’s actually pretty good). Soon I’ll be able to be drunk and choose a life partner, maybe even both at the same time. There’s no check list or even a “How to be an adult for dummies” guide. But for now, I’m enjoying the flurry of learning new things like how to do taxes, how to not kill people in the aforementioned vehicle, and how to one day survive on my own. But mostly, it’s just a big, jumbled, confusing mess.

And this is the part of the classic coming of age tale I turn to outside sources for the answer. TV has taught me nothing useful; just that I should have a lot of unprotected sex, cheat on my significant other with their best friend(s), cry in public restrooms, and have self esteem and body issues. And for once, books don’t seem to provide any better answer. According to Holden Cawfield I should be a sex maniac and repeat urban slang (you know, because I’m all hippidy hop with the times dog mother). Or I could go to Amory Blaine route and get super posh and into poetry. Or if I feel particularly badass, I could always join a gang and burn down a church to teach myself a valuable life lesson. The only fiction character that could come to my rescue now is (you guessed it) Peter Pan. I’ll go to a magical place and stay young and without responsibly until the end of time.

In the end the scariest bit of growing up is the fear of doing it wrong. What if I’m not able to grow out of my selfish, childish mindset or what if I grow into an even more selfish bitter adult? And what am I supposed to do anyways and how do I do it and do it well? You listen to young adult writers and they just tell you to imagine the world complexly over and over again. But how are you supposed to do that and still make any sense of it?

I guess I’ll just sit around and hope to be picked up and flown to Neverland, saved forever from the monotony of “day to day life”.



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