I recently spotted an image on facebook with a wide-eyed poodle in the backseat of a car with the featured qoute, “Adulthood is like the vet, and we’re all the dogs that were excited for the car ride until we realized where we’re going.”
And that, my friend, sums up everything I have learned about adulthood so far pretty damn well.
If you asked your 10-year old self what he or she thought you would be doing right about now, the answer would probably involve ice-cream for dinner and sleeping in until noon everyday. And maybe a little something about not wearing pants and only bathing occasionally. I bet I would’ve thrown in a very intelligent comment about wearing high heels all the time.
But the reality – and this is the part that your shouldn’t read to your children – is that none of those things happen and we have a very good reason for not doing it: Ice-cream makes you fat and fat means you have to exercise which means not sleeping late. And the things you do eat cost money which means work which means no time for either exercise or sleeping. Or reading. Or TV or friends or plucking your eyebrows, but alas… I digress. Pants are required by society and bathing is recommended daily if you want someone to love and hug you. Which, you do. Because life is hard and hugs make you fell better when the wine dries up.
And those high heels? They make it really hard to run away from your responsibilities.
Truth is, you grew up. You learned what is right and what is needed to live a happy, healthy, financially stable life. You work and you eat your veggies and you run occasionally and you only have champagne on special occasions. You don’t dance when you’re sober and you take a shower before getting into bed every night.
And to that I say screw it. It’s a trap. Growing up is necessary for survival, yes, and to feed yourself and to be a decent human being. But growing up does NOT mean growing old. Being an adult does NOT mean being serious and determined ALL the time – it merely means you get to decide for yourself when and where you feel like letting your hair down. So, live it up, have champagne on Tuesdays and eat donuts for breakfast every now and then – even if it is just to comfort your inner 10-year old. Order ice-cream with sparklers in it and dance like your love-handles are sexy. Wave out of car windows and blow bubbles. Jump in puddles and watch Finding Nemo until you know all the words by heart, not just the ‘just keep swimming’ part.
Make being an adult fun. Because this is what we’re going to be for the rest of our lives. This, here and now, is the only chance.
Make it count.