August 22, 2020
Bug’s Philosophy: Adulthood
Meet the Artist 2020: The Bug Behind the BlogSource: The Burgundy Zine
As of today, I have legally been an adult for two years — but it wasn’t until recently that I finally began to feel like an adult.
Despite being a junior in college, working multiple jobs, paying taxes, taking public transportation into the city on my own (gasp), living with my partner, having six credit cards, and a number of other things, I still felt very much as if I was waiting for some anime-esque magical girl transformation into adulthood.
So… when was that defining moment? Was a Descartesian descent into quarantine madness and introspection?
Note: “Bug’s Philosophy” is an editorial series of free-writes pulled directly from the pocket-journals of editor Burgundy Bug and are expected to be regarded as they are in their rawest form: opinions based upon personal experiences, as opposed to her typical articles, which are meticulously laiden with hours of research.
Sailor Mercury transformationSource: GIPHY
Hardly. That defining moment came about after I purchased my first gaming console 100 percent on my own, the Nintendo Switch.
That’s right. Opening my sixth credit card and purchasing a Nintendo console was the moment that light bulb finally went “Ding! You’re an adult.” over my head.
Ironic, I know. What’s funny is, I can very vividly remember spending my summers as a child playing GameCube and World of Warcraft, idolizing teenagers because they seemed so grown up to me.
I thought 15-year-olds were pretty much grown-ups, especially when I hung out with my older friends in elementary school. Then I turned 15 and I thought, “Shit. I’ve got three-years until I’m an adult.”
The prospect of legal independence and the adventures that laid just beneath my fingertips invigorated me with a sense of childlike wonder.
I spent the summer before my 18th birthday riding around the neighborhood on my little brother’s old bike, treating myself to mornings at the local, somewhat musty, library. My partner and I were skateboarding every chance we got, our long hair and baggy t-shirts flowing in the warm breeze as we coasted down old, bumpy roads.
The summer after that, I was working part-time in local government but spent every chance I could ambling through the city independently — something I never could’ve fathomed as a child. I felt so small, so young, beneath the skyscrapers that towered above me.
And now, I find myself feeling like I’ve been taken back in time, to the summer before I started college. I was 16, basking on my bedroom floor with nothing but music, art, and website building to keep me company as I was “waiting for my life to start” that fall.
Now I’m 20, basking on my bedroom floor with nothing but music, art, and my three websites to keep me company as I “wait for my life to start” at a new college this fall.
I’m slowly approaching an era where my accomplishments are reaching an equilibrium with my age. Yes, I’m a 20-year-old junior in college (I graduated high school at 16), but it no longer feels like I’m “ahead” of all my peers (I mean that as humbly as possible). And I’m okay with that.
I’ve also started to notice that, as I look around, 20 really isn’t so “grown up.” If anything, your 20s are essentially “second wave adolescence.”
Everyone around me, myself included, seems so young — that cohort encompasses my friends, colleagues, and the creators I follow online who are in their mid to late 20s, too.
Maybe by 30, my peers and I will feel “grown-up” to me. But honestly, I have 30-year-old friends and they still seem pretty young, too. So does 40, and 50… My parents just entered their fifth decade and they look younger to me than they did when I was a kid.
Although “growing up” is physically and biologically indisputable, perhaps the idea of feeling truly “grown-up” is an illusion.
I often joke that my partner and I will still call each other “baby” even after we have a family of our own someday. And that our kids will go, “Why are you calling each other baby!? We’re the babies!”
But what they’ll eventually realize is we’re all babies, deep down inside. That sense of wonder and curiosity doesn’t just disappear once you’re legally an adult.
Sure, it may wane and wither at times — especially amidst bursts of teen and young adult angst — but it’s always there, somewhere, deep down inside.
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