I've recently discovered one of the biggest scams on the planet. Adulthood. As a kid, I wanted to grow up so badly. In middle school, I desperately wanted to be a teenager, but when I got to high school, I was more than ready to go to college. Even during my 4 years as an undergrad, I looked forward to graduation. College is confusing because it is a period of transition. We're like mini adults, charged with things like feeding ourselves, regulating our schedules, making our own money, and signing leases, while still leaning on our parents for some kind of support. For the most part however, we are living independently. There are no parents, no rules, and full freedom - at least when we're away.
I graduated and became what I would consider an adult adult at 22-years old. That age looks different for everyone. Some have graduated from a 4-year University and are diving into the corporate work force. Some are traveling the world. Some are business owners. Some are making waves in their industry or around the world. Some are entertainers that make money off social media and their respective talents. No matter where young people my age are in life, we all have one thing in common - in the eyes of the law and society more generally, we are fully considered adults and independent citizens of the world.
The next few months will be the first time I've been home for an extended amount of time in 4 years. The last time I was home for this long, I was in high school. A lot has happened over the past 4 years and I am not the same person. I've recently had to embrace this by confronting the past and the things that had shaped my childhood. I've been working at a summer camp, the same job I've had since I was 16, which runs out of my old high school. Being in the building has reintroduced me to teachers, administration and other staff that I haven't seen in forever. Being around New York more generally, and Queens more specifically, I've run into several classmates from high school and middle school. One night, during a random trip to the mall, I crossed-paths with 6 people the I used to be in school with. The one that surprised me the most was when, while walking out of Buffalo Wild Wings, I heard some shout, "Hey Zari!" and turned around to see someone I hardly recognized because I hadn't seen them since graduating middle school 8 years ago. Not only was I convinced that I need to move, but that I am so much more removed from my childhood than i thought.
Thus far, I'm not impressed with this whole adulthood thing. 10/10 would not recommend. Having complete freedom sounds amazing from the other side until you factor in working all the time, not having as much time to do things that are creative (we will talk about that in another post), not to mention trying to figure out what adulthood looks like when you are living with your parents. I do, however, find comfort in the fact that everyone relatively hates it and is figuring it out as they go along. If we can collectively admit that adulting is trash, I don't think I'll feel so bad about it.