Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 22, 2014

Pondering the secret, hidden truth about being an adult

May 10, 2013

By STEPH TAHTINEN

Mt. Pleasant News

There are times when I really dislike being a grownup.

For example, I know that when I go home after work today, there will be a pile of dishes on my counter that I really should have washed last night. There will also be a load of laundry that needs to be washed.

I keep waiting for the day that I’ll come home and the housework will have magically done itself while I was away. But that hasn’t happened yet.

Come to think of it, I’d probably be pretty freaked out if it actually did happen — what kind of a weirdo would break into my apartment to clean? That only happens in Snow White, and from what I remember the seven dwarves were pretty angry about it.

Yet, I don’t think I’d be angry, per se. I’d be slightly giddy — as long as there were no deer tongues used to clean my dishes and they weren’t dried with squirrel tails.

This is all just fantasy, but the reality is that no Disney princess is ever going to stumble upon my apartment and decide to clean it with the help of her woodland friends while I’m sitting at a city council meeting.

No, the cold hard truth is that sometimes as an adult you have to do things that you don’t like to do. It’s part of life. You must accept the fact that you have to pay bills, provide food for yourself and constantly work at cleaning the seemingly endless pile of dishes and laundry.

This isn’t something they tell you as a kid.

As I a child, I envisioned adulthood as being flashy and exciting — the freedom from school and homework, the ability to do what you want when you want it and not having anybody tell you want to do.

I didn’t realize that school is replaced with work, homework is replaced with housework and that supposed unlimited freedom is packed with a multitude of responsibilities and all you want to do is take a nap.

Nobody told me this. Or, at least, I don’t remember them telling me this. If they did tell me, I probably didn’t pay too much attention.

I vaguely remember Mom once telling me that I won’t be nearly as excited about getting mail when I’m an adult and it’s all bills. I didn’t believe her. Getting mail was a magic, celebratory event that usually meant a birthday card or a surprise letter or package from my older cousin.

Now, however, I understand what Mom was talking about (funny how that happens as you get older). Maybe it’s because snail mail has become outdated or maybe it’s because I’ve grown up, but opening my mailbox is not as exciting as it used to be.

It’s just one of the several things about being an adult that is not as glamorous as my 10-year-old self imagined it.

Yet, if I had the opportunity to talk to my 10-year-old self, I don’t think I’d tell her any different. I wouldn’t want to disillusion her. I’d try to keep her hope alive for the future and make that youthful enthusiasm last for as long as possible.

Because that’s another cold hard truth about becoming an adult — you lose that enthusiasm. I find this heartbreaking. I think we all need to stop worrying so much about being an adult that we forget what it’s like to be a kid. So that’s my new goal in life: get that enthusiasm back.

But first I have to do the dishes.

 

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