When I was little, I could not wait to grow up. I looked forward to living alone, having my own keys, making decisions for myself, getting home when I wanted, deciding what to cook, or whether not to even cook at all. People used to tell me, “Adulthood is responsibility,” but nobody really explained the ‘responsibilities’ in detail. Nobody told me how tough it is to have to make your own decisions, how thoughts run through your mind everyday, so wildly that you feel light-headed, and sometimes very heavy. I guess this is because people’s responsibilities differ, and you get to understand yours with time.
I never had a bunch of keys of my own until a little over a year ago. I was very happy about it, and I would dangle it a lot, and when I came back to my room in the evenings, I would dump it on my table with a flourish as I had seen it done in movies. However, I have come to realise that while adulthood is having my own keys, responsibility is making sure I never lose them as I would have to spend money getting new ones.
Adulthood is having my own bank account with money in it; responsibility is ensuring I spend the money wisely, and not call home before the next due date to ask for more. Adulthood is living alone; responsibility is having to think of bills to pay. Adulthood is having men ask me out without having my parents hovering around; responsibility is being sensible, even in the rush of hormones and emotions, and being a ‘responsible daughter’. Adulthood is having my own foodstuff to myself; responsibility is choosing to eat healthy despite this.
Although I enjoy the feel of rushing around (both physically and mentally) to get things done, there are days when I wish I could go back to being a child and have all decisions made for me, even down to the colour of my underwear. Days when I didn’t have to worry so much about what I will become and how I will become it; days when I don’t have to be so scared of how soon I will be catapulted into the over saturated Nigerian labour market, and how well (or badly) I will cope in it; days when I didn’t have to be so petrified of disappointing my parents and everyone else that expects me to “make it”; days when I was- as my parents like to put it- without worries.
However, despite all the fears that can make adulthood unattractive, I have come to realise that every phase of life is beautiful and should be enjoyed. Spending too much time waiting for the future has cost me some wonderful opportunities and I am not about to let the same thing repeat itself. This phase of life I am in now is one I wished for ten years ago yet, sometimes I am tempted to overlook it and wish for the next phase to come quickly. I have resolved that though I am expectant of the future and all it holds for me, I won’t let that stop me from living in, and enjoying the present. So, as much as my responsibilities may seem now, I know they will only become more as I grow older. Therefore, I will be grateful for these days of “fewer responsibilities” before I become “more adult” and have even more responsibilities to handle.
What are you grateful for?