I love being an adult

by LP

On the internet, things tend to go in waves. Sometimes there’s a current reason for something to pop up (Christmas videos, anyone?) and sometimes things go viral for no obvious reason. In the last few weeks, I’ve seen a lot of “I hate being an adult” sentiments, like this comment/message-type thing

Adult no thanks[x]

Which, by the time I screenshot it, had about 154,398 notes, so it’s safe to say it strikes a chord with lots of people. And while I’m not wanting to discredit anyone’s feelings, I just wonder why. Because I quite like being an adult.

I didn’t really like being a child. No, strike that: I HATED being a kid. I’ve heard people say they hate being an adult because they miss the carefree days of their youth, when they had no worries and could play outside all day with their friends and didn’t have to worry about mortgages or rent. Me personally, I prefer having to pay rent and taxes to having to worry about being bullied, made fun of, ridiculed, not taken seriously. I prefer having tiring coworkers or frustrating conversations with my rental company to the constant fear of having to be around other children who could (and occasionally would) hurt me, with the adults (teachers and adults-not-my-parents) looking on and not caring, or even implying I deserved it because I was “weird” (which was partially shorthand for foreign) and “not social enough”. Fear not, I’ve had intensive therapy to deal with the aftermath of these happenings and my childhood wasn’t all bad, but when I think of my childhood I remember feeling powerless, dependent and trapped a lot of the time.

But even when I leave the traumatic things out, adulthood still wins: I can decide where I live and how. If I want a cat, I can get one. If I wanted 10 cats, there would be nobody stopping me. Well, I would be stopping myself because that’s an excessive amount of cats, especially for my apartment, but that would, again, be my decision. I don’t have to be friends with somebody I don’t actually like, just because they’re the only other child in the neighborhood. If I feel like going on holiday, either all by myself or with somebody else, I can. If I want to stay home, I can too. If I were to decide that I want to move to Paris next year, I’m quite sure I’d get further than an 8 year old who decides the same. I actually know so, because I tried: I got to the end of the street. Which probably proves that I didn’t understand the concept of being a child, because what 8 year old wants to move to Paris by herself because “I liked the Eiffel Tower and I speak French”? File under: ways to make your parents cry.

This one also struck me

Adult places[x]

Because that is how being a child felt to me: waiting to leave school, waiting to leave my grandparent’s couch, waiting to leave the car after a 3 day car ride. There was a lot of other waiting too: waiting for the dreary-as-f*ck, cold war, bomb-is-about-to-fall-any-minute-now, jikes-these-clothes-are-ugly 80s to be over, waiting for that BORING Sunday in that boring town to be over. Waiting to be an adult.

Granted, many of my present day freedoms are a result of having completely and utterly failed at life and thus automatically not adhering to any of the very rigidly imposed “trappings of adulthood”. And while I definitely wouldn’t describe my adult life as a walk in the park, maybe that’s where the “I hate being an adult”-people and I differ: not only did they have a nice(r) childhood, they might as an adult now have, for lack of a better term, specific “rigid adulthood”-related burdens that are heavy to bear, both in itself and in comparison to their childhood.

Anyway, I’m not even sure what my point is, if I even have one, I’m just thinking out loud really. However, I am quite curious what other people’s ideas on this matter are, so please feel more than free to leave your thoughts, feelings and theories in the comment box below.