Saturday, 31 August 2013

Why being an adult is overrated

“Grown-ups don't look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they're big and thoughtless and they always know what they're doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. Truth is, there aren't any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.”
Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

I remember when I was a little girl and I looked at grown-ups in admiration. Grown-ups could do whatever they want. They had the freedom to go places and experience things, while I as a young child was relying on my parents to take me somewhere. I wanted to be grown-up. I wanted to have the freedom. It could not happen soon enough.

I'm about to turn 22 in little more than a month and quite frankly, I don't really want to grow up anymore. I underestimated the responsibilities that adults have.I look at people who are my age now. Some have bought a house, they work and do their duties. They pretend to know what it is like to be an adult but most of the time they are just doing what they think is right because others have told them it is the right thing to do. Grown-ups are still scared of big decisions, there is just no one holding your hand and telling you it is okay to be scared. It isn't okay to be scared in the world we live in today. Everything has to be fast-paced. There is no space to dream, or hope. When you're an adult, you are a part of the system and you have to follow the rules. There is no room for something as absurd as imagination.

“Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences.” 
- Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

I now see that no one has as much freedom as a child has. I long to go back to those days of running around in a corn field, playing games and really just living. The older I get, the more I wish I had cherished those times when I still had them. But I was a kid, what does a kid know?
It saddens me to see that kids these days barely go out anymore to explore the world. They are glued to their smartphones, something I never had as a kid. I went out and discovered the world through my own eyes and interpreted things through my own imagination. The imagination of a child is a beautiful thing. My little niece for example, she believes she is a princess. A superhero at times too. It is wonderful to see that she can live in these fantasies and not worrying about what is yet to come. No peer pressure, no responsibilities. Just being a child. She doesn't realise how lucky she is.

I guess there is nothing wrong with being a child at heart when you're supposed to be grown-up. Do we ever know what we're doing really? It is sad that most adults lose the ability to dream and imagine things just because they feel like they shouldn't. That is something kids do. But there is no such a thing as an adult. We're all kids at heart.

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