One of the things we have trouble accepting is the sad fact that our childhood is over. Maybe it’s because of how instantaneous the transition to adulthood is. One morning you are daddy’s little cute girl, without a care in the world; the next, you are just a girl, no longer little, no longer cute. Just a girl with a pile of responsibilities, bills and deadlines. People no longer ask you what you wanna do when you grow up. Now they ask you what you actually do. Sometimes you stammer coming up with the right response that will make them not pry further. Sometimes you exaggerate. Other times you just tell them the truth. It’s not what you used to dream of doing just yesterday when you were daddy’s little cute girl, but it’s something.
Everything around you has changed. You now work for a living. You buy your own food and you have your own place. Your taste in music and fashion has improved. People take you a little more seriously. You even have a gynaecologist. And an entirely new set of friends. The ones from your childhood are scattered in different places and it has become increasingly difficult to keep up with each other. Your view of the world is different. You have unlearned some falsehoods your mind was fed with when you were little. You are now an aunt to one or two annoying kids who think you owe them the world. The kind that demand for your phone every time they see you and jump straight to YouTube as if you mine data bundles from under your pillow.
You hardly go to church as much as you used to. You cannot watch a TV show overnight like you used to. Going out no longer excites you as much as it used to. The people that you used to ask for money as a little girl are now the ones asking you for money. And they always get surprised any time you tell them you don’t have any. Your folks don’t give a shit about you as much as they used to. All they care about is when you will get married and sire them some grandchildren. How the hell did this happen? I mean, you got your first period just the other day.
You are still trying to figure out this growing up thing. Juggling between that eight to five job, and studying for that Masters degree, and that side hustle you started, and travelling to new places, and being taken out for dates, and paying your chama contribution, and calling your folks once in a while, and updating your LinkedIn profile, and hanging with your friends, and filing your taxes, and reading that self – development book you bought, and keeping fit, and watching your favourite sitcom. You wanted to grow up so bad when you were younger but this is not how you had pictured it would be. This is chaos. No wonder you keep forgetting the visiting day date of your younger sibling. And you have to be reminded three times that there is a family get – together on a certain date. Now you understand why your father kept asking you what class you are in. And why he never got you anything for your birthday on the actual birth date, unless you reminded him.
Adulting means always worrying about something. No wonder you occasionally indulge in whatever it is that calms your nerves. Otherwise, you’d go crazy. Adulting means giving more than receiving. No wonder you are always late on your tithe, if you do tithe at all. Adulting means having to prioritise. Sacrificing one thing for another. No wonder your ‘To Buy’ list is longer than your ‘To Do’ list, filled with stuff you want but cannot get because you have to first get the stuff that you need. Adulting means uncertainty. Being unsure and unaware. How do you do what’s best for you when you don’t even know what it is? Adulting means screwing up. Being insecure. Making a couple of mistakes and learning from them. Adulting means change. A change in mindset. A change in thoughts. A change in action.
Adulting is rough, but is essential for one’s growth. Go easy on yourself. You are experiencing a process the Greek used to call Meta (Change) Morphe (Form). Enjoy it. Celebrate every win no matter how little or significant it may seem. Document your adulting journey by taking pictures of every milestone because, in the next phase of your life, they will be the memories that will make you smile. And no matter how tough it may get, smile through it. None of us has been in this world before. It’s the first time for everybody.