Things about being an adult that sounded way cooler when I was a kid

When I was young, being an adult seemed like the coolest thing ever. I couldn’t wait to grow up. I’d finally be able to make my own decisions without asking permission, go out at night with no curfew, drink alcohol, and vote. I thought life would BEGIN when I hit some magical age. Boy, did I have it backwards.

Now that I’m a “real” adult with real adult problems, I realize how lucky I was to be a kid. If I could go back in time, I’d totally enjoy things more and relish in the fact that I didn’t have to do icky grown up stuff like pay taxes, understand what a mortgage is, and worry about my paycheck. Play was the only thing on my kid agenda and I never had it so good. When I was a kid I wanted to be an adult. Now that I’m an adult, I just want to be a kid again.

Here are five things I couldn’t wait to do when I grew up, but now . . . not so much.

I couldn’t wait to wear a bra

It’s a rite of passage for every young girl. I waited in anticipation for a sign, no matter how small, that I’d finally need a bra. I was one of the last in my grade to get one. Even so, I felt very grown up when I finally got one for Christmas. I slid the straps onto my shoulders and hooked the back. I maneuvered the two flat pieces of triangle fabric over the area where my boobs would someday grow.

Now, the first thing I do when I get home is take my bra off. Sometimes I can’t wait and unhook it on the drive home. I can’t tolerate the clasp poking me in the back and the underwire pinching beneath my breasts for one more second. If I knew bra life would be like this, then I wouldn’t have been so giddy to wear the contraption in the first place.

I couldn’t wait to get a real job in the real world

No more paper routes! No more babysitting! I dreamt of the day I’d get a real paycheck complete with FICA, state and local tax deductions. I ‘d finally get an annual salary instead of being paid by the hour or by the number of newspapers I had delivered. I’d feel so responsible and independent. I’d have a desk, a phone, and a cup full of pens.

The truth is now I dream of playing hooky from work. The official grown-up term for this is taking a mental health day. During this free time I could watch The Simpsons, take a bubble bath, and eat sour cream and onion Pringles without worrying about offending anyone in the afternoon meeting. I dream of being a couch potato.

I’d couldn’t wait to celebrate Christmas every single day

The stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas seemed endless as a kid. I couldn’t wait for Santa’s arrival. Days ticked by at a snail’s pace and my patience was nil. I was sure that as a grown up I’d just start the gift-giving early.

Now when Turkey Day arrives I’m like, “Yikes! I only have four weeks to get my shopping done!” There’s simply not enough time to shop for the holiday, bake dozens of cookies, and take care of all the other festivity-related obligations. The stress can be too much. I liked it better when my only worry was if Santa might put me on the naughty list for taking my brother’s candy.

I couldn’t wait to get the wardrobe of my dreams

Aside from new boobs, being allowed to wear make up, high heels, and carry a purse that didn’t have a cartoon character on it were serious adulthood aspirations. Playing dress up was fun and I knew that when my closet was finally filled with grown up clothes, I would have arrived. But now . . .

I get so bored of my everyday office clothes, not to mention my feet are killing me by the end of the day (thanks heels!). By the time I get home I just can’t wait to put on comfy jeans and sneakers. Also, I have all these adult functions to go to, like weddings and baby showers, and I don’t have the fancy clothes for them. I wind up shopping for a new dress, new shoes, and a matching purse every time a special occasion pops up. This gets expensive. Dream closet, I’m still waiting for you.

I couldn’t wait to color my hair every color in the rainbow

When I was younger, I loved experimenting as a blonde, a red head, getting highlights and lowlights, and applying temporary glazes all because it was fun to color my hair and change my look.

The thrill is gone. Now I have to color my hair. I’m too young to let the premature gray grow in naturally, so every four weeks I’m imprisoned to the bathroom where I stand over the sink and apply the usual chemical mixture to my scalp.

Being an adult isn’t that bad. I’m independent, self-sufficient, and I have the freedom to go out and create the future I want. And that’s powerful. But sometimes I still think it would be cool to just come home from school have a plate of cookies with milk, and watch cartoons until my mom calls me to dinner. Ah, well, I’ll always have the memories.

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