Home » 2015 » January » 11 » I dont want to grow up.
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I dont want to grow up.

      I Don't Want To Grow Up! _ Shivam Singhee



As a kid I expected, along with everyone around me, to grow up and mature along the way till I reach that one special day when I will be all grown-up and mature. It will be one of those “milestone” days when I would feel like an adult, stand tall with other mature adults and behave like them in coordination. I will have the responsibility to earn my own money, buy my own things, live independently and even take care of myself when I am ill. I am 22, recently graduated and heading back home from my first business trip alone. I earn (whatever little that is), I purchase what I desire, I have lived alone for almost 9 years, and tended to my needs. However, I still do not feel like an adult. I don’t think I have matured one day since I have actually understood the meaning of that word, and I would like to explain why I feel so.


When I was kid I knew that becoming mature one day was the end goal. I understood even then that maturity comes along with age, hand in hand with wisdom, another quality in an adult desired by all children. Through the years, I have almost perfected the art of pretending to be someone who is mature; in front of adults, who I believe are the true judges of someone’s maturity. In my head, only the “matures” can decide if the adolescent has upgraded to their stature. To impress this elite group, I often behaved in ways I believed a mature man would. However, given a chance, away from the eyes of my jury, I would act immature. I would behave ‘normal’. As I grew older, I started to feel the wisdom I was gaining with age and experiences, but maturity still seemed like a facade that I maintained to feel secure amongst the adults. I would sometimes panic and act shocked at myself for doing ‘immature’; things a person my age shouldn’t have been doing; things that I felt absolutely comfortable and often, enjoyable doing at the time. Then I started to notice, everyone is pretending to do the same thing around me.


I started to observe my parents, my elder brother, and my extended family, random people on the streets and most of all, all my friends. Everyone was pretending, at some level or the other to act like an adult, hiding their immaturities behind a thick unnatural glass of maturity. At any given opportunity if this glass was removed or broken, the instinctive immaturity would come pouring out causing to damage the ‘stepford wife’ image of the person. I also noticed this glass is often lifted when we meet the people from our immature days or when we engage in intoxication or both! It is said that people show their true colors when they drink. If that is true, then whatever color in the spectrum you may exhibit, it is blackened by maturity when you sober up. We say we act like children when we meet our childhood friends, or when we party or drink with our loved ones. What quality of our childhood do we possess then, if not immaturity? I don’t particularly want to play a board game when I see my friends from school. I want to be loud and obnoxious and create a ruckus even in the most somber of environment.


When people hit their “mid-life crisis”, its not that they suddenly lost their minds or became mad. They just got too tired of the pretence they have been living in because it was expected of them. They act immature again, to rejoice in the feeling of what comes natural to them. Their innate, god-given right to express their feelings in the most natural way they know; to act immature. People often refer to the old people as children. The only difference between the two is that an infant has no understanding of the artificiality behind the existence of ‘glass’ in nature, while the elderly just don’t care for it anymore.


After going from a crazy, drunken, comical week in Austin, I traveled across northeast America on a business trip with adults*, ranging from ages 40 to 76 yrs of age. At the end of the trip, a senior colleague complimented me by saying I was very mature for my age, with a beaming smile and a pat on my back. I was obviously overjoyed, and was once again reminded of my childhood ambition to be a “mature wise man”. Then slowly I sunk into a tiny depression as a realization crept over me. I had now officially lost all my privileges to ever act immature in front my colleagues or anyone by that association, because now I had to uphold this image for the rest of my life. I was now a certified mature being in their eyes, and I knew well enough that maturity is a virtue that must be upheld or else you lose all credibility as an adult that I have mustered so hard to obtain. And just like that, everyday at work and beyond, I will lose more people to my mature exterior, leaving my true self behind a thicker glass. The only people who will be left are the people who know the true immature me, and love me for that; my closest friends and my family. So I am here to ask you that whatever exterior you may hold for the world, please stay immature with me. Life is too short for pretence, and though I know we all require it to work or be accepted in the society, we must keep true to ourselves amongst the people we love. I love all my immature friends and family members, and I don’t ever want to grow up for them.

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