When I grow up, I’d like to be more fun. I think I take myself too seriously most of the time. I’ve spent so much of my life focused on growing up that I’m not sure what grown up is meant to look like. I’d really like to be good at playing.
I’d like to be the life of the party and live in the house that everyone is always drawn to for game night and holidays. I’d like to be kind and wise and help people feel at home, at peace, comfortable. To help them find rest when bodies and minds and weary. When I grow up, I’d like to be able to be generous whenever I feel like it, with my money, time and resources. I’d like to be certain I’m living in a good direction, that my actions are pointing to a hopeful kind of destination.
But mostly, when I think about the future and growing up, I think about what it would be like to not carry all the responsibility. I grew up in the opposite direction and now I’m trying to grow down.
I learned way too young that eventually we are all responsible for ourselves in every sense – from self-love to finance to decision-making. In every sense, once you grow up the kind of human you are is determined largely by your own response to whatever circumstance you find yourself in. I started living in that enormous responsibility when I was very young. Despite the reality that I’m still prone to irresponsibility from time to time. But I live into my irresponsibility without a failsafe, a backstop, a safety net.
Don’t get me wrong – I didn’t grow up entirely and it wasn’t a terrible thing to take responsibility for myself from such a young age. It took me a while to work out things like finances and how to love myself. But what I find myself trying to grow down into is how to be slightly less independent in that responsibility.
At the end of the day, I often find myself incapacitated for decision-making because I’m exhausted by all the decisions I make each day. Decisions for clients, decisions for myself. What to eat, wear, spend money on. I’m still procrastinating on booking a flight next week because I haven’t decided in which direction to head. Because every single decision is up to me.
That’s just a touch too much independence for my liking. I think we’re better when we are always learning to compromise for the sake of someone else. It’s also lonely to be making all these decisions all the time. But I’ve not known any other way of being since I was 8 years old. I don’t ever remember a time that I wasn’t worried about managing other people’s expectations or demands of me.
I’d like a second run at being a kid when I grow up. A chance to trust others to take care of me for a while, to give in to tantrums and whims. To play freely without a shadow of tomorrow’s decisions weighing on me.