Friday, 18 August 2017

Musing On Growing Up.

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"Growing up" is weird.

When I was little, I used to look up at all of the adults that surrounded me and pondered about the day that I magically morphed into a full-fledged, fully functioning adult human. How and when it was going to happen, I had no idea. Truth be told, my main concern was turning 18 so that I could finally, freely attend 18+ gigs (I'm serious). And yet, even when it finally happened, I still didn't quite feel like a "grown up". Even when I moved out of my mother's home and off to university, I still didn't quite feel like a "grown up" (in fact, that time of my life may have been the least "grown up" I've ever felt). Even now, two years into living with my boyfriend of almost five years and almost one whole year into my first big-girl job, I still don't always feel like a "grown up". So, when do I start feeling like a "grown up"?

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so when do i start feeling like a grown up thought fashion personal style 3
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When my mother was 23 years old, she was already married and in the midst of raising her eldest child like the total boss-lady she is. Although I shouldn't compare my mother's life to mine, I can't help but feel somewhat strange when I think about it. At 23, she was already a proper "grown up". Is that the direction I should be heading? Because, listen, I'm not even close to that. Like, not even a little bit. I have been living and breathing for twenty-three years on this planet and I have only just recently gotten into Green Day and I'm considering dyeing my hair black. That's where I'm at. Do I sound at all ready to raise another human being to you? (Spoiler alert: the answer is a very definitive no).

So, I know I'm not ready to pop out any babies anytime soon, sure; but it's hard not to feel even a tiny bit of pressure when everyone around you seems to be on the same path to "growing up" i.e. getting married, buying houses and having kids. The majority of people that I went to school with are married and have children of their own. Even my best friend in the world just got engaged and has a mortgage. Me? I just booked my fourth European trip of the year to see a band and the thought of taking out a mortgage and buying a house rarely crosses my mind. I literally just got back from a weekend of acting like a big kid in Disneyland. I forget to make dentist appointments and, with zero hesitations, I always call my mum at any slight adult inconvenience. Did I mention I only just got into Green Day?!

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If I were to end this verging-on-a-life-crisis-ramble here, I'd say; okay, I am so screwed! Adulting is not for me, I am doomed! It's the end of the world as I know it! But, you know, growing up (and the societal pressures behind the term "growing up" - particularly for women) is weird. Alongside the basic stuff like remembering to pay your bills on time and actually doing your laundry so you won't be forced to wear your underwear inside out; it's almost as if there exists a societal pressure of women not being considered fully-fledged "grown ups" until they have children of their own. But what if you don't want to have children? What if you can't? What if it just isn't feasible for your lifestyle? And, what if you don't want to get married? What if buying property doesn't appeal to you at all? If you don't give in to these societal norms of "growing up" does it mean you're doomed to be stuck in a weird not-quite-grown-up limbo forever? How can you ever define the moment that you magically morph into that fully-fledged, fully functioning adult human?!

What I've learned upon musing on all of this is: you can't. There isn't a single, definitive moment. Life is awkward and weird. But when I compare who I am today to who I was when I was 18 years old I can see that I have in fact "grown up". I have matured and learned and grown as a person; at the end of the day, those are the fundamentals of what "growing up" is really all about. It's just hard to notice it happening because time goes by so damn quickly. (Side note: in comparison to my 18 year old self, I now know how to actually work a washing machine and what days my bins go out, woo!) Whether you choose to get married and have children, or don't, or simply spend the rest of your life travelling to different countries to see bands perform *ahem* you are a fully-fledged, fully functioning adult human.

Alas, I believe that no matter how old you are, how old you feel, how "grown up" you might be or how much you believe you have your life together; there will always be those moments where you'll feel like an overgrown child trapped in an adult's body, wanting to call your mum for help at the slightest inconvenience (like when you're trying to poach an egg and you just can't get it right, how do you do it, mum?!) We all have those moments. But we've got this.

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What are your thoughts on being a "grown up"?

Katy Belle.
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