Continued from you gotta learn to fly sometime-an introduction.
As a person immersed in Western culture, I’m trying to figure out amongst all of the numerous traditions which Western culture is so fond of using as rites of passage and milestones: How do you know when you’ve matured or “grown up?”
I’m trying to figure that out. Have I grown up when I’ve started dating? I’ve started dating and I don’t feel any different.
What about when you reach the age that you can drive? I’ve been past that for four years, and I don’t want to drive, I don’t really need to drive, and I still haven’t felt any different. Does that mean I want to be a child forever?
Every birthday I’ve had, every milestone I’ve passed: graduating high school, going to university, being able to legally drink (okay, that time when I had a candy apple martini, that made me feel a little bit grown up.) being able to stay home alone overnight for the first time, and… You got it. Nothing.
My parents are always telling me to “grow up”. Sometimes I even tell myself to “grow up.” But the reality is, how do I do that? It’s not as simple as just putting on a big fake nose and calling yourself a clown.
Sometimes people distinguish it using biology (at least for females). When they start menstruating, they can have sex, and babies, and they are officially a “grown up” in some cultures. But that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes people say that when you’ve left your parents or guardians house you’re an adult. Does that mean that every time you go back and visit your parents, you’re a kid?
There’s just so much ambiguity as to when exactly childhood ends and adulthood begins. If these really were two separate categories, wouldn’t it be easier to define and point out when one moves from one stage to another?