growing up my mother always used to tell me to not worry about what it would be like being “all grown up”. she warned me to enjoy my youth while I had it. she knew youth was fleeting and that once it’s gone it’s longed for forever.
when I was in elementary school I could not wait to see myself at the age of 20. I wanted to know if by then my hair would finally be cascading down my back. I wanted so badly to know if I would grow up to be tall, or average, skinny or if I would stay chubby. By then would I have my own apartment, a boyfriend, a puppy? Would the world be so easy and free and beautiful as the Disney movies I loved watching?
When I was in middle school I couldn’t wait to turn 16 so that I could drive. The idea of being able to roll out of bed and dip into my car and drive anywhere, that I wanted, on my own time was stupefying. I wanted a boyfriend to show off. I thought that the friends I had then would be by my side forever. I hated being contained in the house by my parents every summer.
In high school, I had already fallen into what I thought I’d become. A writer, a journalist, having something to do in the entertainment realm. I sang I danced, I played guitar. I chopped off the dead ends of my hair that I straighten all throughout middle school and let it flourish in its natural state. I thought I had fallen in love, got heartbroken, stabbed in the back, failed a few math classes, made friends, lost friends. I had it set in my mind that I was introverted and that that was who I was. It was the reason why it was difficult for me to branch out, and why people drained me so quickly. I had a mind to apply to collges out of state and finally leave the quiet suburb I’m from, but for reasons I’d be thankful for, in the future, I listened to my mother’s advice and stayed home, reluctantly going to community college and transferring to a nearby university.
I’m in college now. I got my AA degree. I’ll be a senior in the fall. I’m 5’6 with a bald head, on account of it falling out due to Alopecia. The experience pushed me into a deep depression but I kept my faith. I have a wonderful boyfriend who’s in the Navy, stationed in Japan. I have a dog, a Maltese named Chachi. I weigh 165, which is a little heavy for my height but I’m ok. My hair is growing back thanks to treatments, support and a whole lot of positivity. My man and I are positively in love. My dog brightens my day and my weight is something I’m working on. I have to drive myself everywhere now and I really don’t look forward to it most of the time. Friends come and go for me. Adulting is not as easy as the movies and TV shows made it seem.
Adulting is not as easy as the movies and TV shows made it seem. They don’t tell you about the emotions and trials you’ll run into. The fact that you have to pay bills, or the reality that life itself is fleeting, it can be taken away from us at any moment. None of us are vulnerable. These are the things I wish I was told growing up.