Adulting: Freedom from Childhood
Written on July 20, 2017.
I’ve been noticing a new term going around lately: adulting.
Adulting means doing things like going to work, paying bills, calling a plumber, etc.
When I see the word, the context it’s used in 99% of the time is negative. “Ugh, I’m tired of adulting.” “Adulting? No thanks, it’s the weekend.” etc. I remember being young and feeling so impatient about growing up and becoming an adult. I felt that on the other side of childhood/adolescence, there was this special world, a secret utopia that only those over 18 had entry into. I imagined that the funnest things happened after I went to bed.
There were days when I would leave school early, for a dentist appointment or something, and I felt such a profound freedom in the fact that I was riding around with my mom at 1:00 in the afternoon. The world seemed different, expansive and full of possibility. I couldn’t wait until I was free from the prison of my school, free from waking up each day at 6:30 am, packing a lunch, shuffling from one classroom to another at the sound of a clanking bell, returning home at the end of the day, and doing it all over again, 5 days a week. Of course, as a child, I had no choice. My parents both worked and they sent me to public school and that’s just the way it was.
But now, now I’m an adult and I finally feel the freedom that I always imagined as a child. I wake up when I want to, I spend my days how I want to, and I go to bed when I want to.
I chose this life, this freedom, and it wasn’t an easy choice to make.
The easy choice would have been to continue to be an elementary school teacher after college, waking up at the same time each day and returning home each evening, 5 days a week. The easy choice would have been to collect my paycheck and rest in the knowing that it would be there again the next month. But I chose another path. I chose a road that started out muddy, unclear, and my feet sunk in the quicksand with almost every step. But the path I chose got easier with each step I took. The mud dried up and although I still had to cross peaks and valleys, I opened my eyes and breathed in the fresh air, let my eyes wander over the expansive openness, let my ears bathe in the silence of nature, and although the road still has bumps and rough spots and is quite isolated, I would choose it over the easy, known road any day.