Growing up is somewhat blindsiding. You expect things to be one way and then the sheer weight of the world starts to press back harder than you expected. There are so many things that I wish I was taught while growing up instead of learning things the hard way. Last week’s post focused finances and things not being explained clearly this week focuses on childhood versus adulthood.
The wonderful thing about adolescence is that everything seems colossal and monumental yet, looking back, it is so insignificant. Your first recreation of a Power Rangers fight scene is epic and must be preserved forever. Now, I can’t find one Sonic the Hedgehog fridge drawing or even figure out why I put Sonic/Doug shoes on every creature I drew for nearly five years. I always heard members from my church recite the same things over and over again.
What is said: Don’t be in such a rush to grow up
What should have been said: Enjoy having less responsibilities, expectations, and tasks because it changes quickly.
Going from a carefree, jubilant baby to a fully formed, jaded, and periodically stressed adult is a stark contrast that doesn’t happen overnight. Every few years, you go from being only responsible for keeping yourself contained to designated areas (don’t write on the walls, use the baby toilet, keep your hands to yourself, don’t disturb other classrooms, etc.) to paying for the privilege of having something of your own (time, personal space, resources, clothes, food, etc.). As a kid, I never knew how confusing things like taxes were or how millionaires are making decisions on my life from thousands of miles away. I’m not saying I wanted to have an intro to taxes course in 3rd grade, but I spent so much time saying I can’t wait to make money and get out of school when now I am desperately trying to go back to just playing video games and reading books.
What is said: Youth is wasted on the young
What should have been said: Explore the world and your passions now while you can make mistakes.
This is a horrible expression with a lot of envy and spite from the speaker. We have a tendency to look back at our childhood fondly while simultaneously looking at younger generation as foolish, reckless, and wasteful. Childhood is a period of time that you can make mistakes, try new forms of expression, meet new friends, create strange opportunities, and to explore your passions. Most of all, your younger years should be devoted to dreaming. I am starting to believe that, besides keeping children safe and giving them tools for success, parents should encourage exploration. Financially, this may be difficult but books, videos, trips, and experiences should be given to a child at least once in their lives. I didn’t really start exploring some of my most adventurous ideas until I was 22 and committed to being a drifter, musician, and thespian for years. I wish I would have been encouraged to take even more advantage of spontaneous trips out of Detroit.
Leftover from last week: Finances in general. I wish my family understood finances or pushed me to get a better grasp earlier instead of me learning the hard way. They might not have known themselves but could have encouraged me to seek to put that in my tool box. Taxes, saving accounts (shout out to @sherae88 for this one), insurance, credit scores, and stocks. It all makes so little sense to me but I really want my children to be better prepared.
Anything about growing up that you’d wish you had clarified as a kid? Anything you particularly wish you knew then? Let me know and leave them in the comments.