Childhood is a joy, for a large sum of us, our childhood is where our happiest and most fondest memories are. But, what about actually growing up? Getting over growing pains and self discovery, becoming a “mature” adult. Here’s some thoughts on that.
I’ve always struggled with birthdays and getting older, but before I turned 18 I found it to be a massive obstacle. I didn’t want to be 18 because I knew that legally I would be an adult, which meant that I would have to “grow up” a bit, stop being childish and having teenage strops, I didn’t feel ready for it and I wanted to pause time for a quick second. Now though, I’m twenty years old and I don’t know why I was so worried about being an adult. My adult life has been so much easier, and I’ve been so much more comfortable in my own skin, I often question why I was so worried, and I feel a little bit silly for it actually. Maybe at 17 I was still too immature to realise the advantages of getting older, but when I look back at myself, I do feel like I’ve come a very long way.
I think you “grow up” without really noticing it. For somebody who was so stuck on maturing and didn’t know how, I’ve actually done quite a lot of it. I recently decided to go on one of my old social media profiles to see what hidden gems were in there, I had written statuses and uploaded photos that were just utterly diabolical. As I read through the profile I kept on thinking, “I’d never say that now,” or, “I’d never do that now,” and I found it so cringe.
Funnily enough though, reading through the cringe made me realise how far I’ve come as a person. How even though at twenty I still feel like I’m not quite an adult, I actually am, especially compared.
I know that I’m not alone in having felt this way. I think that a lot of people who were late to the whole self-discovery thing, and even people who felt perfectly comfortable with themselves, can come to a bit of a hit when they realise that they are now “adults”, and expected to do adult things. Even going out drinking was a big deal to me, I had no interest in getting drunk and going clubbing, so the first time that I did was an unusual experience for me and I didn’t feel that comfortable, but it ended up becoming a regular thing for me to do for a little while. My life is no different whether I drink or not, so I don’t really miss going out, but because I thought I had to do it to be properly an “adult”, I did it anyways.
One thing that I am glad about being an adult for, is the level of self confidence I have gained. I used to be a shell of a person, I wouldn’t speak up in certain situations and I had a hard time in social situations. As an adult, I’ve started to come out of my shell, I find it easier to talk to people and I find it easier to find some kind of common ground with people.
Before I hit the “adult” stage in my life, I’d avoid talking to people and making eye contact, I’d struggle to find any form of common ground with anybody and I’d stutter and shake when approached by a stranger. I think my confidence was at an all time low when I was around sixteen as well, which didn’t really help my situation at all. When I “grew up” a little bit in terms of maturity, I wasn’t struggling to let negative people who were putting my self confidence at a drastically low rate go, and I wasn’t self loathing as much.
Growing up, maturity wise, gave me a whole new lease on life. I have a better relationship with my friends and family, I have a better relationship with myself and I feel like my life has improved so much more since I got a grip and got over myself.
I’m still very socially awkward. I have to take a minute before I approach sales assistants, and if I can avoid it, I will. I also struggle to reply to texts and comments on my social media accounts because I’m so worried about how I sound in the response, or how I’m coming across, but compared to how I was over a year ago, I’ve improved by leaps and bounds.
This year has been the biggest year for me in terms of self growth and how far I’ve come as a person. I feel like I can manage myself better emotionally, and I don’t get so in my head when an event or social outing is coming up. I’ve done a lot of growing up, and this entire article probably sounds like a giant pat on the back from me to me, but who cares? I want to give myself some credit. I’ve overcome a lot of obstacles that were in my way, that I’d set out myself. I want to be happy, and I want to get over my worries and woes.
I wish that I could go back in time and talk to myself when I was sixteen. I can clearly see now where my faults were laid out and I can see where I went wrong, and I wish I could tell myself, “Gee, it’s gonna get way better.” instead of burying my head in the sand and shutting off. But, I have no regrets. All of my flaws and problems that I had as a typical teen have taught me many lessons that I can take with me into adulthood. Am I a better person thanks to being so stubbornly awkward? I think so.
Growing up is an important part of life, and if you’re going to remain stuck in your own head like I was, I don’t think it will do any good for yourself. Sometimes it’s important to open your eyes, look at what you have and what is around you, and just make baby steps into growing up.