When I turned sixteen, I thought a button would go off or I would be struck by some cosmic force and ‘Zapp!’ I would no longer be a child, I would magically transform into a poised young woman with a sense of maturity and would finally be treated like an “adult”.
I thought I would wake up and experience the plot of 13 going on 30 (classic Hollywood ruining life for all of Humanity).
Now at the cusp of my 21st Birthday, with Oh! So much experience by my side, I am confident that nothing is going to change at the stroke of midnight, and that age is truly just a number.
Through this process of experiencing change and developing into a somewhat functioning, capable human being, I have come to realize a few things…
First, if growing up means suppressing our childlike spirit of inquiry, making our brains non-malleable to a different view point, or not allowing the world to surprise you; if growing up means putting to bed a sense of optimism and wonder and conform to being “another brick in the wall”, then count me out.
Second, to me growing up means reaching a point where you can accept your mistakes, learn from them and move on. The world just keeps on keeping on and waits for nobody. So why should we? Just run with it and have fun.
Third, adulting is overrated and not as enviable as it seemed from when I saw it from the eyes of a doe-eyed sixteen year old.
Fourth, life always throws you in the deep end and expects you to “Phelps it”. Just calm down and realize that you will float, you will not drown and with a little bit of effort you will move forward.
What I expect as I turn twenty one is many more instances where my brother’s friends will call me ‘aunty’, make mistakes that will make me curl up into a ball and bawl, another year of experiences and memories that I will remember for the rest of my life and definitely moments that will undeniably prove that I am anything but an adult and I am growing up.
The thing about growing up is that it is a continuous process. I don’t ever want to be grown up, because that symbolizes an end to the constant ability to develop.
I am now and will be forevermore a child, a kid, a kinder.
Written by Kshaema Susan Mathew