It’s hard to be a grown-up, they say. It’s not as easy as you’d think, they say.
Like any child, I wanted to grow up faster, to be able to do more, to not be conditioned. The grown-ups always looked at me and smiled, telling me that they are conditioned more than children. ‘There are more rules than you think, and all you have is responsibility and no joy,’ a family member once told me. I listened, nodded, but failed to reply what was on my mind: ‘yes, but the freedom.’
Years later, as an almost grown-up in my twenties, I witnessed conversations between people my age who wanted nothing more than to be children again. They missed the freedom of not having responsibilities. I never shared their vision.
I look into my past a lot, yet I would never turn time even if some kind of genie would come out of a bottle and told me it could be possible. Becoming a grown-up always meant freedom to be, freedom to feel without being questioned, freedom to take responsibility for myself.
Today I am a grown-up. I don’t own a house; I don’t have a stable 9 am to 5 pm job; I don’t have that many rules to follow that get in my way as I was warned. I do have a family I am responsible for, a job that I love and doesn’t pay that well most times, and the freedom to be.
I never feared or ran away from responsibilities. I feared my voice not to be heard; I feared being conditioned to follow imposed paths; I feared to have to hide who I was.
Today I am a grown-up and happy to be one. When the time comes, I will be happy to be a middle-aged woman and then later an old lady watching the lake in front of her house, somewhere in the mountains, a book in her hand, a smile on her lips. Because each step is essential; because each step must be lived fully; because your life is just a blink of an eye.