Dreams vs. Reality: Drawing the Line Between Youth and Adulthood

When I was growing up, I dreamed of becoming a mother and an architect. I envisioned myself as a woman dressing and playing with my children instead of plastic dolls; I anticipated a day when I could design real houses and organize real cities like the doll-sized ones arranged on the floor of my playroom. Part of my identity belonged to the numerical grade I belonged to at school, and each year as that number rose closer to twelve, I felt significantly closer to my adult life. My imagination bubbled over the rim as I played day after day, and it was supported by my expectations of my carefully scheduled life after high school graduation.

(I believe that if I had access to iPads instead of dollhouses as a child, my aspiration would be quite different)

I believe that if I had access to iPads instead of dollhouses as a child, my aspirations would be quite different.

Source: http://giphy.com/gifs/house-full-qPtDdB8mTpyxi

However, as I have grown older and experienced both sweetness and burns in life, I have realized that adulthood has no clear transition or defining moment that serves as a decorated entrance. It is rather a change of perspective that carries one over the threshold.

Before youth sprouts into maturity, adolescents and children see themselves as exactly what they are: small humans who need care and support as they learn the ways of the world. They know that they must rely on the adults who mold their lives constantly, forgive their mistakes, and eagerly offer attention towards how those mistakes can be avoided. Nothing is absorbed heavily into the soft intellect of a child. This perspective chases after the need for learning and adventure through the unknown territory of life.

Once the blossoms of adulthood appear, this perspective everts from futuristic and innocent to complex and weathered. Adulthood bears the connotation that one is experienced along with its denotation that one is fully developed. Events in life, such as financial independence, property ownership, sexual encounters, substance exposure, and general responsibility, give people experiences that reveal bilateralism within themselves. These events uncover the positive and negative matter, regarding choices, of which humans’ souls are made, which usually is not as visible during youth. Adult experiences disclose success and failure, and for one to take that mature bilateralism to thought and allow it to guide her life in a specific way is maturation.

Reaching maturity is seeing places of decay in oneself and having the capability to mend them. It is growing new blooms and shedding the old when necessary. Adulthood is recognizing that maybe there is no occasion when somebody instantly becomes an adult; dreams are always distant and everybody does the best she can to get closer to them all while never truly stepping on the peak. Comparable to youth and adulthood, the difference between an oak tree and corn stalks is that an oak tree withstands seasons and keeps the past sacred in preparation for the future. A corn stalk must begin again with each season, like a child remains young and inexperienced until her mind has matured enough that her views of life begin to stack up to mean something. This is the intellectual ripening point which marks adulthood.

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2 Responses to Dreams vs. Reality: Drawing the Line Between Youth and Adulthood

  1. Andrea Guerrero Garcia says:

    I firstly would like to say that I completely agree with your point on what being an adult means. I believe you have a beautiful way with words, and managed to capture the real essence of the generations you were describing. I completely identified with your description of the transition between childhood and adulthood, the corn and the blooms metaphors really called to me in that they smoothly depicted the riddance of innocence, the detachment from our childish ways and the playfulness, only to enter the serious world of adulthood. I believe you clearly struck a chord with me when you speak about all the responsibilities that entering the adult world brings to a person, and the fact that it is something we cannot escape from if we are looking to mature and become actual adults.

  2. Khalil Newell says:

    Interesting post, especially towards the end with your comparisons to crops and nature. There were plenty of points that I personally agreed with. For one, the idea that youth and maturity are mere perspectives and not so much definite points of one’s life. It is exceptionally difficult to try and pinpoint a certain time for everyone and say “Welcome to Adulthood”, which is why society doesn’t allow such a thing. I love how you made experience the clear difference between youth and adulthood and gave maturity factors such as financial independence and sexual encounters, but the only thing I ask is how many of those factors do you think it takes to consider one mature? Would just having exposure to one or more of those put a child into the mature category? Or is it something more complex, like having to make a decision about such a factor, or even just understanding? For example, I’ve known what drugs are since I was in middle school at least, but I never really understood them or had to make any significant decision about them until I was in high school. I was simply “Saying No to Drugs” because I wanted a free t-shirt (lol cause I will still go through a lot here at GT for a free shirt). My comments were not intended to go against this post because there are tons of great points that I 100% agree with. I just feel like even within such a good breakdown of adulthood, we still have a long way to go before fully defining it.

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