Grow up.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard that. I’m turning 24 in less than two months, and by the standards of the place where I live (or at least the elderly people who know me), I’m supposed to have already settled down with a good husband and gave birth to a kid or two. I’m supposed to know how to cook and clean and pay the bills. I’m supposed to know how to interact properly in all situations, and woe betide me if I forget what to say at a funeral or a wedding. I’m supposed to be a grown-up.

I may look like a grown-up, sure, but I don’t feel like one… and I don’t want to feel like one. My culinary skills are dismal, I can be quite sloppy, I pay bills trustingly and without asking any questions, I fumble with my words when talking to mourners or congratulating newlyweds…

Grow up, people say. You’re not young anymore. You should behave like a mature young lady. You should learn how to become a good wife or else your life will be in disarray. Oh dear me, you don’t know how to cook? Your children will starve! Of course this leads to… What? You don’t want to have children? Are you normal? Aaaaaand the cycle continues.

But you know what? There’s nothing wrong with behaving childishly every once in a while. I like having unhealthy breakfasts such as cake and crème caramel and consuming Jell-O all day long (both things have been done today); I like watching cartoons and can spend hours on anime shows; I like taking my time strolling through the candy aisles and picking out my favourite treats, occasionally squealing over any new products; I like to read children books; I like cute stationery and pretty notebooks; I may stomp my feet and whine if I want something and can’t have it; I love bouncy castles and ball pits; I may cry for the silliest of reasons…

I don’t understand people who try to grow up too fast. Why are you in such a hurry? There’s a multitude of things to do before you can turn serious and boring. There’s no need to get worked up about details. It’s okay to relax a bit and have fun. Kids have fewer worries and anxieties than grown ups, and that’s why they’re always the happiest of all.

Can the kids at heart raise their hands and tell me about the last childish thing they did? Meanwhile, I’m going to help myself to some Jell-O for the fifth time today! =D

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42 thoughts on “Grow up.

  1. I believe each of us has their own time. However, you could still grow up and let the kid inside of you live forever. In fact, I think it is necessary.
    I just spent a weekend surfing the mini waves with my nephews. I had the best of times!!!

    • I agree that in some aspects it’s necessary to grow up, but I guess I’m mostly talking about those who shed away their child-like self for good.
      And that sounds like lots of fun! =D

  2. I’m with you. I’ll be twenty-six in a week and don’t feel grown up and don’t plan on ever feeling entirely grown up. I enjoy my cartoons, anime, graphics, sci-fi, cons, kiddie books, construction paper crafts and all those other little ‘silly’ things. I’m going to keep enjoying them too. I refuse to grow up completely.

    And if it makes you feel any better, everyone around where I live–including much of my extended family–still think I’m weird for having barely dated, much less never dated anyone seriously. Sure, I want a family one day, but not until I’ve had a little fun myself and enjoyed being just me.

    As for the last childish thing I did today–It was probably playing angry birds with a deaf third grader. I don’t understand everything he signs, but he’s a hoot and he loves that game!

    • Happy birthday in advance!
      I think it’s those little pleasures that make life worth living. What kind of cartoons and anime do you watch?
      And I don’t understand why people put so much emphasis on relationships. One’s happiness shouldn’t be completely dependent on another person!
      Angry Birds is a fun game! Seems like people of all ages are playing it, haha.

      • Thank you! You’re right, little pleasures make life so much more pleasant. I like a lot of cartoon and anime. Ninja Turtles, Teen Titians, Justice League, Phineas and Ferb, Avatar (both The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra), Case Closed, Ouran High School Host Club, Hetalia, xxxHolic, Tsubasa….that’s just a few that I watch! They’re just too much fun!

        I’ve never understood all the emphasis on relationships either. I mean, they’re nice, I’m sure, but if one is happy being single, then that’s great too! Luckily my parents and my mom’s side see it that way too. My dad’s side…eh, not so much. They’ve gotten used to me being ‘odd’ though ;P

        Angry Birds is fun! Although…it is a game. So I wonder why it isn’t considered childish too….? Hm. Still! Its fun to play!

        • Of the ones you mentioned, Ninja Turtles, Phineas and Ferb, Case Closed, Ouran and Tsubasa are some of my favourites! You can always trust anime and cartoons to provide you with endless fun and entertainment!
          At least one side of your family is okay with it! Unfortunately both my sides have always tried to set me up with people and find me a nice husband.
          Possibly because it’s a phone app, which gives it cool status?

        • Oh yay! Its always nice to meet other fans of awesome shows! I love the endless entertainment and fun that they can provide!
          Both sides or your family have tried to set you up, huh? That had to be rough sometimes.
          And that sounds like as good a reason as any for it to get the cool status!

        • Same here! And I love that you can watch them over and over again and still find them just as entertaining!
          It becomes easy after how learn how to brush them off, haha.

        • Exactly! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched my TMNT DVDs and I still find them just as entertaining as I did the first time around!
          lol, I’d assume you’d get used to brushing them off after a while!

  3. Like you, I have an ethnic heritage where reproduction is mandatory. In that culture, a person remains a child until s/he has been married off and has children of their own. That’s a major reason why I have turned my back on my ethnic heritage and live like a fully assimilated Anglo–something that’s almost heretical for a Torontonian, because here, your ethnic heritage is required to be more important to you than your Canadian citizenship. And I never wanted to marry or have children, and have stuck to that decision right to my current age of 47. But a heads up. Based on anecdotal evidence and my observations of real people, many women who swore up and down that they would never have children end up suddenly wanting to have children between ages 27 and 33. There is a possibility–only a possibility–that the same could happen to you. Be ready for it in case it happens. Such an event would demand massive changes to your approach to life in order for you to be a responsible parent, and, if it does happen to you, you will then want to make those changes. Unless and until then, don’t worry and be happy. Tell all the stuffed shirts in your family who want to rush you to take a rolling donut (if I may paraphrase Kurt Vonnegut’s _Slaughterhouse Five_). And if you never do start wanting children–which is also possible and does happen–then you are free to remain the way you are for the rest of your life, and those stuffed shirts can still go take that rolling donut, anyway.

    • I’ve had one person call women “baby factories.” I was shocked that some people actually think that the sole purpose of women is to give birth. =/
      And I wouldn’t worry about changing my mind! I am engaged, but my fiance doesn’t want kids either. So if I have a change of heart, he’ll be there to remind me of all the reasons not to have kids, haha.

  4. I’m 45 years of age; I laugh out loud when something’s funny. I love cartoons, and would much rather be in the park playing on the monkey bars (or whatever the kids are calling those things theses days), climbing trees and enjoying the open air then toiling for 8 hours at a job I absolutely dread. So, consider my hand raised high in solidarity :-). And if you would, please pass me the jello – love to swish it around in my mouth till it melts and turns into kool-aid. lol

    • I hear you! I would love to leave my job and do something fun instead, but I look at my job as a way to get me all the fun things I want. And feel free to have some Jell-O! Personally I love sticking it in the fridge for a bit until it starts to freeze. Makes for a great snack in this hot weather.

  5. I turned 25 on Saturday. On Sunday I woke up, ate cheesecake for breakfast, had a picnic in the park, fed a giant concrete dinosaur a cupcake, and cartwheeled through a field.

    I may never grow up, and that’s just fine by me! :)

  6. Zen, I have a 25-year-old son. That makes me old enough to be your mother – even though I perceive you as my sister. ;-) Anyway, I still feel like a teenager inside, and I’m shocked when I go by the mirror, and it shows me something different. Other than my husband, my son was my best friend for years (we’re still close), and we were always like two kids instead of one. The last childish thing I did was to read a children’s book this morning, and I played a game this afternoon on my Nook Tablet. My husband and I laugh all the time. We are adults when we have to be, but we’re silly beyond silly when we don’t.

    • You know, this strikes me as surprising because I’ve always thought you were quite young! Not trying to suck up to you or anything, but I really thought you were in my age group, haha. It’s nice that you have such a great relationship with your son. =D My mother has always been a bit too serious or “grown up” (even though she had me when she was 16), so we never were too close. Children books are always fun to read, aren’t they? =]

      • It’s the avatar character (from my books) that gives the younger perception. ;-) But I think what you have to look forward to is that with your outlook on life, you’ll always be young at heart. My mother is 83 and she still plays Nintendo daily, laughs at everything, and is quite silly herself.

        • Hmmm, I don’t think it’s the avatar. You just generally seem like a younger person! And your mother is what I hope to be when I grow old (in age, of course).

  7. Grow old, but don’t grow up. It’s overrated and boring. People conflate growing up with being successful, which is dumb. Do what makes you happy.

    That said, I just got done eating an ice cream bar, will spend the whole night gaming, will sleep in, then probably enjoy some pancakes at IHOP at my earliest convenience. I’ll probably be watching a kid’s movie in the very near future with a certain someone (so make sure you have it ready to go!) I also have two massive chocolate bars sitting in the fridge that I’ll be gnawing on for a while.

    I live how I want to live as long as I’ve got the basics and some stability. The rest is all up to you, even if some people want to be derp about it. (I suspect they’re just jealous.)

    • That sounds like a fun night! And I’m jelly – you get to eat pancakes! I have the movie ready, no worries, and I will make sure to get snacks on my way home tonight! You won’t taunt me with your chocolates!
      And you know, you’re probably right. I don’t think they ever got to really enjoy themselves, so they take it out on others.

      • Maybe! Though I’m sad to say that some people are just legitimately like that. ‘You kids,’ ‘Get off my lawn,’ etc. Some people have difficulty with change. It can’t be forced on them, but you’re your own person, not theirs, so in the end, who cares. \o/

  8. I am a grown up (31 with a husband and 3 kids) but that doesn’t mean I behave like a stuffy old fart. Though, I’m not sure if my husband and I are normal. After halloween, he actually buys thirty pounds of candy…and eats it. I absolutely love anime and we act like kids sometimes. Brad and I still buy toys for eachother on holidays…or just because.

    Everybody is different. I think we should be what we want to be. We are responsible, but we haven’t lost sight of the kid inside us. I hope you never lose the kid in you. I find it sad when people “grow up” by acting old.

    • I think you’re miles away from being a stuff old fart! And your husband is awesome. xD I think that’s something I would do if Halloween was celebrated around here; I’d go nuts with the candy discounts!
      My fiance and I are pretty much the same in this regards, so I trust him to always remind me of the kid inside of me. =]

  9. Why is it that people assume that every person, especially if that person happens to be female, is desperate to get married and make babies? Life isn’t some: one-size-fits-all – that lifestyle is not right for everyone. Second-wave feminism happened – and that doesn’t just mean we can work as well as raise a family – it means we can do what we want. And not every woman wants to be a wife and mother.

    Rant over. Sorry. I’m just really sick of people asking me when I’m going to get married – I’m not engaged – there’s no reason to assume to I will.

    • Don’t apologize; I can relate completely to you. I’ve always told people that I don’t want kids, and they would reply with, “Oh you’ll change your mind eventually”, as if they know me better than I know myself. I’m engaged now and soon to be married, but I’m lucky that my fiance doesn’t want kids either; sometimes women feel compelled to have a child when their husbands want them.

  10. Wow! I really enjoy how you feel free to eat such sugary delights. I wish I had your spirit.Of course, I have the slight issue that when I eat chocolate suddenly I put on weight and look like the side of a house.
    I also really enjoy how you stand up against all of that ‘you need to be married’ ideology that is thrown about. Guys on occasion get it, but the women have the worst part of it and I find your ability to stare it in the eye and live free is pretty awesome.
    Also, I only just realised that you are a young woman! All this time I assumed you were a man…odd. Sorry ’bout that. Really should have read your ‘about’ page sooner…anyway, great post – and you have inspired me to be a bit more free in life…

    • Sugar is something I absolutely love! I’ve been told that I’m not really “Zen” without sugar, haha.
      And it’s not easy standing up to it when everyone around is getting married and having babies. It makes me feel under scrutiny. Like, “Look at all those people getting married. When will YOU get married?”
      Oh dear. Do I give off the impression that I’m a man? xD No worries though; people often feel confused with my name! And I’m glad you liked the post. =D

  11. 30, can’t cook, rubbish wife, eat chocolate for breakfast, don’t want kids, never know what to say at funerals or weddings and can happily spend all day watching back-to-back sci-fi dvds while eating ice cream out the tub. i do all that and hold down a proper job to pay the mortgage on my flat. who says you need to grow up to be an adult? ;0)

  12. Prudes. They’ve found reason in ‘growing up’ quick fast and made a big deal of it, so now they feel everyone else should have to do the same – because its just not fair if you don’t grow up when they had to.
    I ignore people like that. Don’t give them the time of day.
    ‘Grown up’ is not defined by the same standards by the same peoples. So if we can all have different ways of thinking, why, may I ask, should you have to follow their way of thinking?
    They made chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream for a reason. Everyone is different. You can’t apply that to a certain aspect of life and not another.
    And don’t even get me started on the “well you need to get married and be a house wife and pop out children because you were born with female anatomy”!
    Bloody hell that irks me to no end!
    THAT has NOTHING to do with growing up. There are hundreds of WOMEN (no, not children, not teens, not young women – but women) that are single, with no children, and. they. are. women.
    To all those who inspired your post – I say bite me. And yes, its quite immature of me isn’t it? :D

    • I like your comparison to ice-cream! It is certainly true that no two people are completely alike, but there are yet people who don’t realise that, and I guess there will always be someone like them.
      The thing about women having babies irks me quite a lot too. Apparently I can’t have a fulfilled life if I don’t pop out a hoard of babies.
      And maybe it’s immature, but it’s well within reason, haha.

  13. This post (and blog) is wonderful! I just graduated from college and as much as I expected to hit the mark of “oh you’re a grown up doing all these grown up things” by now, it hasn’t come yet. I love cartoons. I get excited to eat Captain Crunch and Apple Jacks cereal. I’m still trying to figure out what what I want to do with my life and maybe I’ll never have a full thought out play, but like you, I want to have some kiddie fun along the way. :)

    • Aww, thank you! And you should be glad it hasn’t come. While true that I felt that I didn’t belong to the “student” group anymore, I still didn’t feel like a grown up. Cartoon are awesome, and I love cereal for breakfast! It’s important to remember to enjoy yourself, because all work and no play makes for a sad person indeed. =[

  14. Pingback: Sweet, Sweet Cereal | Faith, Words and Whimsy

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