The moment I turned 18, I threw myself a VIP-access, glitz and glamour, dance party extravaganza…because technically, I no longer had to call myself a teenager. I had finally emerged from adolescence alive. I felt like Batman because I had clawed my way out Bane’s inescapable pit. I wholeheartedly believed that the rest of my life was waiting with a bigger and better everything. I simply couldn’t wait to hop on a plane with my dream in my cardigan, and never look back.
Simply being an adult empowers me to no longer care as much about what others think. If only I had this same motivation throughout my entire life—it certainly would have made high school less painful. It makes me believe that my opinions are more valid in a way. It makes me feel like people are more willing to listen because I have the title of “a legal adult.” I feel liberated because I know I have the complete power, the ability, to screw up my life if I want to, to live life on the edge, to experiment crazily without care… But I don’t, because apparently I’m an adult now and I have to be mature and make good decisions since that’s what adults are supposed to do…
On top of that, adults are supposed to remember to do their own grocery shopping before they realize they’re starving, and they soon have to go apartment hunting if they don’t want to be homeless for the next year, and they also have to be the ones to tell themselves that they can’t afford the tenth shirt they’ve bought that week regardless of how nice it is. Truth is, I don’t want to deal with loans or insurance or “considerate, forward-thinking decisions.” I want to drink a little too much some nights and buy nice (though unnecessary) clothing just because it makes me feel good. I want the liberty to use my youth as an excuse for ignorant mistakes.
And before I know it, I sound like a stuck up child with a plethora of first world problems.
Honestly though, who, in their right mind, deemed 18 a fit number to call a person an adult? After a raging, confusing, awkward, four years of high school, an individual has had the adequate experiences to take on the responsibilities of being independent?
Regardless of whether or not this concept makes sense, it’s the reality that we live in, whether we like it or not (and most days, I do not). Adulthood quickly cracked the whip on me—I’ve come to realize that I’m half-broke, that food and clean laundry will not replace themselves, and that whining will no longer get me whatever I want. Looking at myself, I’m a wild horse running in a million wrong directions—but, at least I’m running now. I’d rather be a directionless horse without a map or GPS, than one behind stable doors. I may fall into a ditch every now and then, and there won’t always be someone to lead me to water—but feeling independent, free, and like I have complete control over my own destiny… that’s incredibly empowering.