“While on The Adult Train, we request that all passengers keep their arms and legs inside the cart at all times.”
Please, stop the ride, I’d like to get off. Well, maybe I’d like to stay on, but at least give me the opportunity to think about it.
I turned eighteen a week ago. I am moving 4 hours away tonight, for school. I am considered an adult, yet the old, tattered stuffed cow that sits on my luggage says otherwise. If someone were to take the stereotypical image of an adult, ill-fitting suit and all, it would not match how I look today. Today, I look haggard and tired, because I packed all night and all of my nice clothes are in boxes. Today, I look like someone who could not last a day living away from home. I do not fit that stereotypical image of an adult.
I do, however, consider myself to be one. The concept of adulthood is fluid and ever-changing, something that cannot be defined or pinned down because, for the rest of time, young adults will come into their maturity and their adulthood in completely different ways than the generation before them. While I am not ready to buy a house, get married, and have children, I am ready to pursue knowledge in ways that my parents and grandparents did not. I am ready to sit in a lecture hall of 300 and stay up too late working on a project. While my parents generation pursued marriage, I pursue knowledge. Marriage is a perfectly respectable avenue to take, it always has been, but in the present day, young people want to be independent, want to grow into fully functioning individuals before they latch themselves onto someone else. It was reasonable and expected for eighteen year olds to get married and have children, to work menial office jobs for the rest of their lives. Now, not so much.
My parents do not expect the kind of greatness from me, that I expect from myself. I need to touch the dirt of the Sahara, I need to breathe in the air on the top of Mount Everest, need to swim in the English Channel. I need to travel the world in mind and in spirit, I need to fill up the progress bar of my life with experiences and heartbreak before I level up into Adult Katrina.
The current generation wears rose coloured glasses in the best way possible. The current generation sees greatness and glory and victory on the horizon and will chase it with their hearts in their throats and smiles on their lips.
Our parents were content with their lives. We, on the other hand, will not stop until we are standing at the plateau of our own personal happiness, whether that is being a CEO or writing children’s books, our generation, the “selfish” generation, will pursue happiness for ourselves and for those around us. Because, why else would we turn ourselves into the victors of our hearts if not to show it to the people we love. We are not the selfish generation, we are the determined generation, the globally connected generation, the innovative generation.
Do not let anyone tell you differently.