Friday, June 15, 2012

The Unattractive Necessity of Growing Up

Growing up is supposed to be about a lot of things. Pushing past the initial gag-reaction to espresso style coffee and fostering an addiction to it. Realising you'd prefer to stay indoors with a pre-recorded tv show or downloaded movie than go out til 3am "just cause". Getting a job where you're not allowed to wear clothes with rips, studs or holes in them (unless you're a creative, in which case get your hipster on). It's said to be about letting go of a lot of routines that involve hangovers, bad choices and misadventures.

Yet behind the transition from binge-drinking to wine-snobbery there's the bigger indicators that distinguish actually growing up from just learning to look the part. Coffee and a blazer don't make a legitimate adult. If that were true, every girl in my Public Relations cohort would have a certificate of maturity - with honours (and that just isn't true).

When you separate the image from reality it's obvious that it's not glamorous, it's not even tumblr worthy. Growing up is about responsibility and decisions. You can't put that on instagram - who would like it?

It's not about responsibility for your taxes, your own laundry or even feeding yourself (although that's part of it); it's more about understanding that our youth isn't a disclaimer of non-accountability. It's about waking up and taking into account people and situations from a perspective outside of ourselves.

God knows I've still got a hell of a lot of growing up to do but this post is coming from a place of learning curves. What happens when you grow up is that you realise you're not the only person that matters, you realise what a tiny space you occupy in the world and that makes you first scared and then in awe. After that passes, the understanding comes and you can't go back to tantrums, selfishness or that ever-attractive youthful ignorance.

You have to choose whether you're going to be the "bigger person," take the "high road". You have to decide what's good for you, who is good for you and equally what you're good for and who you're good for. That responsibility is no mean feat. It often means not ending up with what you want. Mostly it means breaking things up, letting things go and moving on. Where's the fun in that?

And growing up isn't confined to the ages of 16 - 25, some people are forced to grow up young and others won't be pushed to do so until late in life. Whatever the age, it's separating the kids from the big boys. The kids are fun, funny, fun-loving but you wouldn't necessarily trust them to be there when you're in between a rock and a hard place. It's the big boys that make the tough calls, hard-fought decisions of conscience and reason that make the difference in the end.

So here's my revelation for the week. Growing up isn't fun, it's not meant to be.. but it sure as hell beats making the same mistakes and not getting anywhere. It's no motivating promo ad for sportswear but Growing Up is about being in the right with your decisions, even though being wrong would have been easier and more fun.

Here's to being alright with making it right. 'Cause that's how grown ups do. 


  1. I enjoy reading every post of yours Grace! I know exactly what you mean and I can see it happening too... although I hope I can still afford to be irresponsible every now and then!

    1. Thanks Tara, and yes definitely room for a bit of tongue in cheek irresponsibility.. i forgot to mention growing up is about making mistakes too... but different ones, more interesting ones :P glad you like it, i'm loving your site This is The Haps too :)

  2. "Growing up isn't fun, it's not meant to be.. but it sure as hell beats making the same mistakes and not getting anywhere." Loved this. When is one 'grownup'? The cliches (especially coffee and blazers!) abound, but the reality is a much scarier prospect. Great stuff Grace!

    1. Thanks Clare I'm glad you liked it - we all have a lot of ideas about growing up I'm sure - it's scary no matter what! And I have to say I still haven't fully transitioned into the coffee thing, I'm more of a chai-latte girl myself :P ehehe