I don’t know why, but turning 23 has made me start questioning adulthood. Having a general fear of “growing up” seems to be very common. But what does growing up mean? Having a full-time job? Drinking coffee?
I find myself constantly questioning if I should donate my stuffed animals or if I should stop sweetening my tea. This morning, I questioned if it was OK for me to wear my sweater with a picture of a squirrel on it. Are people going to judge me? Would someone assume I was 17 because of my clothing? These thoughts are constantly running through my head. In the mornings, I swap outfits ten times making sure that I am wearing something “age appropriate.” When women my age are travelling with Coach and Chanel bags, it makes me feel like I am stuck. Stuck at an age that I cannot grow out of.
My least favorite question is when someone asks me what I will be doing this weekend. When I respond with “probably playing video games,” they look at me as though my response should have been “going to the bar with my friends.” Why does growing up mean that you have to fit a mold? A mold of “hey, how are ya? Nice weather we’re having.”
Why is everyone in a hurry to grow up? We spend 18 years of our lives trying so hard to grow up. I can’t wait to be 7. Finally people will take me seriously. Finally, I can go to the club. Finally, I can drive. Finally… all of these things. Suddenly, there is a nostalgia about the days that you didn’t have to worry about getting funny looks for ordering apple juice at a diner. But let me ask you, what is wrong with ordering apple juice? Because you are older that 21 that automatically means you have to order wine or a beer? Because you are old enough that means you should get married, have children, get a 9-5 job, and talk to people about things you really don’t give a damn about?
If Spongebob has taught me anything, it is to be who you are and not let anyone change you. Don’t grow up too fast. It is okay to be immature sometimes. It is okay to giggle when someone uses the word “poop.” It is okay to tell someone that you would rather watch cartoons than a movie about war. It is okay to rather want to read comics than 50 Shades of Grey.
I will surely reference Spongebob until the day I die. I will most likely enjoy my nights playing video games with my boyfriend more than nights getting drunk with people I don’t know. I will enjoy putting honey in my tea and making faces at coffee. I will enjoy eating candy as well as vegetables. And I will proudly wear my squirrel sweater until it has holes. And maybe even longer than that.