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Saturday, 24 February 2018

Childhood vs Adulthood

A common heard phrase is 'childhood is the best time of your life.' I would be lying if I said my childhood was all miserable and I hated every minute of it, as that wasn't the case at all. However, although I was a happy kid, I often longed to grow up, and as I have entered young adulthood I am aware why.

With adulthood, there comes a sense of freedom you don't get as a kid. You have the freedom to design and plan exactly what you want to do with your life. You can get away with so much more as an adult. For example, when you're young your parents often make curfews and want you to be home at certain times, but in adulthood you can stay out as long as you like and because you're older your parents can't really make you come home at a certain time. In fact, I find as an adult I'm more responsible about how late I stay out (not that I go out much) and where I go because I want to take care of myself.

Additionally, as a child and teenager, most of what you do is decided for you by older authority figures, namely parents and teachers. I love my parents and adored most of my teachers in all my years of education, however it is so much nicer to be able to choose my own paths for myself now rather than follow a set of pre-planned rules. In my teens, when I had my musical ambitions they were viewed as impractical and I was advised against applying to the BRIT School of Performing Arts. Now as an adult I do exactly what I want; play music with my band, write my music blog and this blog, work on my fiction, and go to music college. I decide what I want to do with my time now.

In terms of friendships, a lot of childhood friends are situation-based; you go to the same school or
Very true.
live in the same area, but as people you can have little else in common. Of course that doesn't apply to everyone, but children are generally more interested in playing partners, whereas adult friendships are based on similar values, mutual support and respect for one another. They're a lot deeper and more fulfilling, because in adulthood you have better judgement of people's characters and are more aware of what you want in a friend, as opposed to just 'hanging out' with someone because you're in the same class.

One of the things I really disliked about being a child was looking young for my age. I probably still look young now; 20 going on 18, but now I don't care as at my age looking young is considered a good thing. Plus I have friends/acquaintances younger and older than me, and going back to the friendship thing, I care more about the depth of friendship and mutual support as opposed to how old someone is. As a kid, a 14 year old could be made fun of for hanging out with an 11 year old, but in adulthood gaps between ages shorten a lot.

People aged thirty/forty and over also have acquired lots of wisdom about the world and life. By that age the brain is fully developed, people are more self-aware and know who they are and what they want out of life, they may be married with families, and are less bothered about things that pissed them off in their youth. I've always envied people who are older than me because I feel they know so much more than me, and I hate not knowing stuff and feeling naive and stupid. This is probably one of the reasons why I've always read a lot; if I try and learn as much as I can it makes me feel less like an idiot so at least I can't be heavily patronized.

I can't stand it when people older than me say 'you're very young and inexperienced', but I know that's just my ego because I actually am young and inexperienced on certain things. I suppose I don't need to look at that as a negative thing and try to just see it for what it is. However, I think it's very unfair and wrong to say young people 'know nothing about life.' As soon as you are born you start learning things about life. Just because I am 20, not 40, doesn't mean my experiences are 'nothing.' In a lot of ways I haven't really changed from when I was a child; my career ambitions have always been more or less the same, and I've always been curious and intellectual. I didn't decide yesterday to pursue a career in the arts, I decided when I was about nine, yet only now people take me seriously which I find sad and frustrating.

But I won't bore you with moany self-indulgence. Growing up is a wonderful thing. I am currently learning to drive; not something I could do aged 15. I'm gaining a lot more self-awareness and becoming more comfortable in my own skin which is also something I think happens with age, particularly as teenagers tend to be very insecure and self-conscious. I am very happy to be turning twenty one later this year, and welcome my young adulthood as it continues to unfold.

What about you? Do you find adulthood to be fulfilling and freeing, or do you miss the days when you were younger? Let me know!

3 comments:

  1. My childhood was okay until reaching 12. Things went down from there. You slowly begin to see the harsh realities of the world but also find it extremely confusing. Now in my 20's I have a better understanding of things and tend not to dwell on the smallest things like when younger. I don't want to fully take life seriously until i'm in my 30's (unless I get a job I really want). Mistakes help you better as a person which is why people tend to get wiser as they get older depending on mistakes they've made alongside other factors. Young people seem to rush the idea of being an adult without being able to enjoy life. Being an adult has some freedom but with the cost of a lot of responsibilities. Simple solution, live life to the fullest and prepare for the best and worst scenarios.

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    1. Very well put! To be honest life has its difficulties whatever age you are. I was bullied at school aged 5-11 and then struggled later a lot with anger problems and anxiety and depression, which didn't get treated until my late teens. Agree that its very good to learn from your mistakes and you do learn more with age.

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    2. *still struggling, I meant hadn't started to properly get treated

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