I Don't Wanna Grow Up: Essay 1

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for over 4 years (no immediate plans to procreate). And here’s why: LA is too expensive. I haven’t traveled the world yet. And I still feel like an 18- year old trapped in a 35- year old’s body.

But the fact is, I’m not an 18- year old trapped in a 35- year old’s body. I’m a 35- year old trapped in a 35- year old’s body. I’m ten years shy of being considered middle aged, and judging by how quickly the first three and a half decades of my life went by, it’s very possible that by the time I wake up tomorrow I’ll be 50.

And it’s scary. Time is going by with this feverish pace, and I honestly feel like I can’t quite keep up. I’m still getting accustomed to the fact that people no longer ask me what I want to be when I group up. The oldies station now plays the music I grew up listening to on the radio. I used to listen to music on the radio period. It’s like I blinked and went from slumber parties and rollerblades to rent and public transportation. I went from praying I wouldn’t get carded to praying I WOULD get carded. Someone actually called me “ma’am” the other day, and I all but passed out right in front of him.

The thought of getting older than I already am sounds crazy and horrifying. And after I sat down and thought hard about why I’m so afraid to grow up, I realized what it was.

Today everything is ok. I don’t have much money saved, but I can pay my bills. I’m healthy. My parents are healthy. But there will be a day when I’ll have to live off the money I’ve saved. There will be a day when I won’t be as healthy as I am right now. And there will be a day when I won’t have my parents. That latter thought- that’s the one that terrifies me the most.

But a mentor of mine (he’s in his 70’s and looks like the spitting image of Robert Goulet) told me something that stuck with me. He told me that when he was a younger he was afraid of death, but when he got older he was prepared for it. He said as you age, you naturally accept the fact that life is a cycle and death is just another part of that cycle.

(You probably weren’t expecting me to get so deep, and honestly, I wasn’t either.)

So yeah, I’m going to live the clichés no matter how cliché they are. I’m going to live life to the fullest, sing like nobody’s listening, dance like nobody’s watching, keep calm and carry on, shoot for the moon, make lemonade…you catch my drift.

Most importantly, I’m going to cherish every moment I can with the people I love the most in this world and make the memories that will keep them alive long after we’re all gone.

Getting older is scary, but at least I’m still here to do it.


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