“Critics who treat adult as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”
― C.S. Lewis
So it’s my birthday, another year in my life has passed, which inspired me to reflect on things which I have heard directed at me and other people who just “won’t grow up.” If you are in your twenties or way past your twenties and have heard the phrases: “Aren’t you too old for that?”, “You need to grow up.”, “Act your age.” because you like boy-bands, play video games, dress in pink or watch cartoons you might relate to what I’m about to express.
- Growing up I had all kinds of ideas of who an adult was; what I’m gonna be like and what I’m going to do when I “grow up.” As I was getting older I realised that there just isn’t the “right way to adult.” There is so many paths we can tread on; there is no rule book. And it actually might very well be a sign of adulthood when we realise just that. I thought that as an adult I will have everything figured out but once I actually, legally, became one I realised me and every other adult around me (no matter the number of candles on their cake) is just kind of figuring everything out and making stuff up as we go.
2. I like pink, k-pop, fairy tales, Pokemon games, stuffed toys and Justin Bieber… you know… all the kids/teen stuff. I’m still an adult. As long as I’m willing to take responsibility for any actions and decisions I make I’m mature. I’m an adult. No one’s opinion on my hobbies or past times should matter to me and in an ideal world my free time should not bother another person unless what I’m doing is somehow harming somebody else.
3. And honestly… being an adult can often mean you can finally afford the things you have always wanted :).
4. Not everything has to be profound and full of meaning. Sometimes light and easy entertainment is just what we need. We should not be made to feel guilty over something like this. If we can’t enjoy fun entertaining things just because we hit a certain age, then what’s the point of being grown up? I’m looking at you Lego, what do you mean 4 to 99?
5. I may enjoy a lot of things that are commonly considered childish but that has not influenced my ability to change, develop and learn. I’ve grown up despite my tendency to sing along to teen pop songs.
6. There is nothing wrong with being child-like. There is a difference between being child-like and being childish. Why would you want to let the kid inside you die? The same child who was curious about the world, hopeful and cheerful despite all odds, danced in the rain and had the ability to express their creativity to it’s full potential? It’s okay to be child-like and unleash it every once in a while. Innocent happiness shouldn’t bother any body.
7. And lastly… the “dress your age.” What does it even mean? What age? The number, the age I’m perceived, the age that aligns with my lifestyle? I’ve seen this being said to 19 year old girls who choose to have a unique style; it’s ridiculous. I’m not saying I want to look like I’m trying to cosplay a teenager but dressing one’s age isn’t a set of rules. Outside of a professional setting it should only be about the garments that make us feel good. Maturity has nothing to do with whether I am wearing a pink sweatshirt or an “office blazer.” Of course choosing some outfits will lead certain close minded, biased individuals to assume things about us – but hey, I’m an adult and I’m willing to take the responsibility for that by saying: “The judgment one lays on somebody else based on the way they choose to dress themselves says more about the critic than about the person wearing the clothes.” Who needs boring people in their lives anyway? Wear what you like and what makes you feel good. This should be the most important rule.
(all photos belong and were taken by me)