5 November 2016

On Growing Up + Keeping Your Inner Child

It has recently been pointed out to me that in December I will be 18. And that's a big deal. My grandma and mum have decided that we should all do something significant for my birthday because I will be 18, which I guess will make me an adult.

So on the day of my birthday, 15 people - family members, family friends, me and my boyfriend - are off to a restaurant to celebrate before coming home to mine for cake with 2 other family friends. I'm not sure how I feel about this large amount of people celebrating my birthday, or about the fact that I will actually be 18. It does feel like my birthday will be different to other 18th birthdays because it won't involve a house party with lots of alcohol, but I'm not that kind of girl anyway.

A reality that I am almost an actual adult

There are lots of real, scary adult jobs that come with turning 16 and then 18. They include things like signing your own forms and consent, going to the doctors' and dentists' by yourself, or having to spend more of your own money on things for yourself or others.

These little jobs may seem small but in reality, it is some of your first steps to realising that you eventually have to do all these and so much more all by yourself when you leave home. When I did begin to think about it like that, it became just a little bit more overwhelming.

However much we may enjoy the idea of being independent; becoming an adult; doing things for ourselves, this does come with a lot of responsibility. Getting all these jobs right is really important for your future for many different reasons.

Another idea that keeps coming to mind when I think about becoming an adult is that now is the time that getting a job really does become much more obvious and plausible. I know that I definitely won't get a job until I have finished my A levels, but the idea is now something I should consider because of having to spend more of my own money on things that I buy.

I do love having this feeling of having a bit more freedom, just the worrier inside of me also knows the responsibility involved too.

Keeping my inner child alive

For me, the idea of keeping my inner child alive is all about embracing the fact that I can stay fun and creative whilst still growing up and becoming an adult. I want to be able to still have the silly, fun, messy, creative... aspects of my childhood to be carried into adulthood, because I really don't want to lose all of that innocence.

I think it is really important for us to embrace the idea that we don't have to leave all of our inner child behind because the child we were is the adult that we wish we could become. Why should be waste everything that we learnt about ourselves in our childhood by just living a certain life and not striving for that little bit extra. Our child selves really do know us best.

Some things are still forcing me to be a little bit more of a child than some would be at 18. I still live at home, am in full time education, and don't have a job. In my gap year, starting next September, I will hopefully get a job and won't be in full time education anymore, but will get back to it when a start my psychology degree the year after that.

I don't think there is anything wrong with the fact that these things are forcing me to stay a child because in some ways I do realise that a lot of the time in society we are rushed into becoming an adult and leaving our child behind much too quickly. This doesn't give us enough time to fully realise who we are and what kind of lives we want to live.

On a smaller note, I love the fact that this restriction gives me a little bit of freedom from not doing all the adult things just yet. I am still going to be able to curl up with a book, scroll social media, embrace my creative side, and just do things for the thrill of doing them and no other reason at all.

Some grown up things that I already do

I like to think that one of the most grown up things that I currently do, is that I have a boyfriend. I have been with him for almost a year and a half now (wow). I have properly known him since around the start of 2014 (we went to the same high school too), but we didn't get together until some time after that.

Some of you are probably wondering what is actually so grown up about this and I would have to simply say that it is just something that I am taking seriously in an adult way and something that I definitely don't associate with being a child. Being with some should definitely be all about having fun but it should also be serious enough that you know how not to hurt them and what makes them happy, which I think is kind of a more grown up approach than some relationships.

I am one of the students in sixth form who realises the importance of studying and working hard so that I can get the grades that I know I am capable of and that I need to get to university. Some people my age find it really difficult to strive for long time goals like this or to have a good attitude about working hard for your future, so I think it is a really good job that I do have that attitude towards sixth form and A levels.

Something which I am really proud of myself for is that I am starting to become more myself and developing into the kind of person I want to be who has ambitions, opinions and is starting to view my life and myself in such a positive and grown up way. I like that I am finally starting to see what is important to me and what I want to stand for so that I can see the kind of person I want to become and the kind of job which would suit me.

I know that I still haven't got everything figured out but I am so happy that I am starting to see progress in the way I live my life to better myself and the world.

Some grown up things that I wish I did or was better at

As I have previously discussed in a post about being an introverted person, I find it pretty different to socialise and build/keep friendships in the conventional way.

After high school, I pretty much cut myself off from the friends I had made there. I still acknowledge them in the street and could make conversation if it was ever necessary, but knowing those people weren't the kind that I wanted to build real friendships with (and the fact they were going to a different sixth form) meant that I didn't see much point keeping in touch.

Thankfully, I made some friends in sixth form and I hope I will keep lots of them when I am on my gap year. However I am still not the best at developing these friendships into something where we both make an equal effort with eachother so that we go out and socialise together. I'm not sure why I am so bad at this but it is definitely something I want to try and improve so that I can build friendships easier and keep them so that I get to spend time with people as well as alone.

Something else I would love to improve in myself is not listening to or caring about what other people think of me. This might also help me to be able to socialise more easily as well, but mostly I want this so that I can be myself and not spend half my time involved in other people's thoughts and opinions. I want to be developing my own opinion of myself and not trying to investigate others because at the end of the day I am just left with myself.

Finally, as this post in all about becoming an adult, I have to say that I need to become more independent and responsible for myself because this will help me to build my confidence and become more prepared for real life adulthood.

How do you feel about turning 18 and becoming an adult?

And if you're over 18, can you remember how you felt?