Do we really have to wait for the moment to feel grown-up?

Turning to an adult is overrated. Don’t you think? Right from the beginning of our very existence, we are made aware of the perks and responsibilities of becoming an adult. We get so over-excited at the thought of growing up and often tend to underestimate the journey of growing up.  The irony is that the reason I am even able to write what I am going to write is because I have grown up. Have I?

When I gave a little thinking to it, I realized that the whole logic behind growing up is a prism. Basically, I have experienced a dozen of those split seconds at different phases of my life. My mother was very particular about academics. On exam days she used to wake my brother and I up at 4.30 in the morning. I was in the 5th standard when I first took my mother’s place of teaching my brother. He was in the 2nd standard and I still remember teaching him about the basics of “Paint” in computers. I woke him up in the morning and sat with him throughout. That was the first time I felt I’d grown up. Those small moments leave a great impact on the memory ball inside our heads. That first early morning as my brother’s tutor is still so fresh in my memory. But here is the twist. I had another instance when I felt grown-up again and every other moment before it seemed childish. Four years later, when I was in 9th grade, I had to decide on my stream. My mother always wanted me to try for IIT. I wouldn’t say I was forced to take up engineering but I blindly listened to everything my mother had to say. So I neither had doubts nor multiple choices to break my head-on. Now it was time to take a reality check.

I had planned to start my IIT training right from the 9th standard for four years. The plan was to get admitted to an IIT coaching school as a hosteller. Too many decisions had to be taken at the same time. Will I be able to adapt to a hostel 60 km away from Chennai? Will I be able to invest four years in PCM (Physics, Chemistry, Math) with utmost dedication? Will I be able to leave my friends for four whole years? And when I started answering these questions one by one, I felt I’d grown because these were decisions that were going to have a huge impact on my life in the foreseeable future. All I would say is those were some of the best decisions I’d ever made. That was the time I felt I finally grew. All my life until that moment just felt kiddish. 

It literally felt like I’m on a whole new level of decision making. It felt like whatever decision I made would actually matter after a long time. But wait. This isn’t just it. Like I said, the very idea of growing up is progressive. There can never be a definite time to realize you are no more a kid. I just had that split second while writing the previous paragraph. All these years right from my birth until I started writing this essay now seem juvenile. Since I’ve started drafting this essay, all I’ve done is wonder if I’ve even grown up yet. 

This is what I meant when I said growing up is overrated. I am pretty sure that years later I will go through another instance when adulthood will hit me. With all the hours I spent writing this and feeling grown up will feel childish again. It’s just plain impossible to pick one out of these 100 moments of realisation. And the matter of fact is why do we even care? Caring about and waiting to become mature is just a mistake most of us make. Going with the flow may sound simple and repetitive but it’s as complicated and tough. Being cute, innocent and a child is not something you should upgrade from but something you should keep for long. It is not a temporary attribute but a lifelong treasure not everybody can possess. So all I will say is make as many split seconds you can make to realize you have grown up, now and then. Otherwise just stay a child.

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