I remember when I was 10 years old, staring at one of my aunties, Peace, and thinking to myself, “I can’t wait to be as old as Aunty Peace and know when to do what and how to do it”. I remember fantasizing about not having to be at crossroads about certain seemingly easy-to-make decisions like what to wear, what hairstyle to wear next, what ice cream flavor would taste better, the list is in fact endless.Somehow to me, my aunty’s life was perfect, she had it all figured out.
It’s a little crazy how as a child, every adult you see is sort of like a mini god who has the answers to all life’s questions.
Sometime ago, my baby brother brought this Math problem to my mum and when she had difficulties figuring out the answers, I remember him asking with a puzzled look on his face,“how can you not know when you are old?” Haha yeah right. This brings us to the five Myths about Adulthood:
Myth 1: Adulthood Makes You Know it All
Thing is, as a child, every decision you had to make was taken care of by someone else, be it your parents, your teachers, your older siblings, e.t.c. So, it unconsciously made you look forward to being able to do it on your own, but now as I sit here writing this, I think of how bothersome it is to make some of these decisions, how being an adult does not automatically turn you into a master-planner or give you magical powers, and how sadly, confusion cannot be associated with childhood alone. I miss the luxury of not having to worry about a lot of things. Who else does?
Myth 2: As an Adult, You are Always Financially Stable
Biggest myth yet. You see, there are times in your adult life when you hit rock bottom with funds, like get more broke than you could ever remember being as a child. In fact, children are a lucky bunch, they always have the option of asking. I remember getting money gifts from adults back then and being eager to grow older and spend on the little ones.
Truth is as an adult, you hardly ever get assisted. Everyone imagines that you should be doing something to help yourself or just getting by somehow, and most times they are wrong. On one hand, there are endless bills stacked up for you, on another hand, you also have to cater for your own needs and sometimes the needs of others and this does not help matters.
I am gradually detaching myself from the idea that all adults have fat wallets. To be a financially stable adult, you have to be a wise spender and an investor. What I failed to realise while growing up was that everyone could become financially stable by making sacrifices and saving including children. Now I know better.
Myth 3: Adulthood is a One-Way Ticket to Wisdom
This is a fallacy. Okay, so being an adult might make you smarter but it does not guarantee you wisdom. The good thing about being an adult is that you get to consciously learn from your mistakes. You gather lessons as you grow older and you move on.
When I was younger, I sometimes repeated a mistake more than twice just to assure myself that it was a bad decision. Picture this scenario: me walking to my friend’s place after school for the 3rd time instead of going straight home when I knew quite well my parents would be mad at me. At that time, all that mattered to me was the moment. Priorities were not a thing for me. Enjoy now, suffer the consequences later.
As a child,you sometimes feel that being sorry or sober is enough to wish away the repercussions of a bad decision, but as you grow older, you grow into the realisation that for every decision you make, you have to answer. So, being an adult does not mean you will never make bad decisions, but here is the good part, with adulthood comes consciousness and consciousness is very essential for learning.
Myth 4: Adults Possess Immunity To Pain
Am I the only one who thought adults couldn’t get hurt? That adulthood somehow came with a truckload of strength? There was a time in elementary school that I saw one of my teachers cry when his colleague died. You know the first thought that hit me? “Why is this big man crying like a baby?”.
I somehow used to imagine that as you age, certain things lose the ability to get to you. Of course you develop the ability to conceal or handle your emotions better but truth remains, no one ever grows immune to pain. With children, most times the pain is physical from mostly things like being spanked or getting injured. With adulthood however there is a lot of emotional pain to brace up for.
There is the pain from disappointments and heartbreaks, losing friends, losing money, being cheated, possibly being falsely accused, plus having to deal with depression sometimes. Do not get me wrong though, children feel emotional pain too but then most times it is superficial and easily forgotten. Innocence helps them not hold unto these things for too long. It is different with adults.
Myth 5: Adults Have Unlimited Access To Freedom
This has got to be the most disappointing of all the myths to the young because they generally believe that adults do not answer to anyone. Permit me to inform you that being an adult does not translate to all the authorities in your life disappearing into the thin air. No, they in fact remain. Although you get to play the lead role in planning your life, more often than not you are still accountable to your parents, older relatives, partner, religious community leader, boss, and even the government at large.
In essence,you have access to freedom quite alright except it is NOT unlimited. It would be unwise also to exaggerate this freedom and take careless actions as there are definitely people who look up to you. Let us not forget that with adulthood comes a whole lot of responsibilities and at the end of the day you discover you are swamped with so many activities including your job that you end up not being so free after all.
Remember this: Adulthood is not always about your ability to break the rules. It is sometimes about being responsible enough to follow them.
So I round off this article by stating this: being a child and enduring being bossed around might suck but doesn’t the nostalgia hit you sometimes? Adulthood appears to be rosy but eventually, we get hit by the discovery that it is overrated. It is a phase with some great benefits but also tough and with some major downsides.
I remember reading somewhere that adulthood is just like looking left and right to avoid getting hit by an oncoming vehicle but still managing to get hit by a plane flying overhead. Hilarious but true. Fact is no matter how much older you get, you are never too old to get screwed.
Life is just one vicious cycle in reality and I say, in whatever phase you find yourself, you just do well to enjoy it while it lasts.
Can you relate with any of these myths? You can share in the comments below. Don’t also forget to subscribe to this blog to not miss a post.