Something we all were collectively, and passionately enthusiastic about when we were tinier, more gentler versions of our current selves was growing up. The feeling of looking up to elders who could hold their own ground in conversations, the ability to partake in intelligent matters of discussion - it all seemed like the ultimate stage of human development.
However, as we grow older, a lot of things seem impeccably irksome. Netflix does seem to do the trick though—binging a whole season of ‘You’ never hurt anyone. All that teenage angst, coupled with the fast-paced lifestyle we are leading right now, it makes me wonder, ‘Does it all slow down? Will it ever?’
That’s the billion-dollar question. We’re all constantly growing in so many different ways, trying to be the better versions of ourselves. Manifesting and fantasizing about how we’d aspire to be when we grow older. To buy that dream bungalow one day, or that million-dollar luxury sports car. Sometimes, just to live in a cozy little apartment all by ourselves.
Growing up, though, brings to mind a myriad of unaccounted circumstances. A relatable example – how racism still dominates one of the biggest and most developed countries in our world, the United States of America. How women are fighting for equality, particularly in under-developed nations of the world. Growing up, and consequently, older, makes everyone angry at how the world has ‘become’.
What we’ve never realized is that the world has always been this way; with its wondrous imperfections and its imperfect wonders. It hasn’t always been the brightly coloured, utopian land that was a regular feature of our childhood dreams, but it isn’t exactly dystopian either.
Growing older has made me feel like awaking from a bed of roses and placing my feet on a pasture of pleasantly green, sun-lit grass. It might feel awfully prickly at first, but as you take your next couple of steps, its warmth grows on you. In the same way, the world grows on you. Soon, you blossom into the adult version of yourself, trying hard to make it as idyllic and paradisiacal as it was in your dreams. Here’s a short, but befitting phrase from Virginia Woolf, to explain growing up: ‘Growing up is losing some illusions, in order to acquire others.’