Photo courtesy of Flickr user NYFD/Creativecommons.com
For the first time in my life, Christmas and New Year’s crept up on me without so much as a warning. I didn’t notice the calendar plodding because I was busy with life. I’m experiencing my first Adult Christmas and New Year’s.
I haven’t a good clue on how I let this happen. All the magic, the anticipation, the days where I can’t sleep because I’m so sure I’m getting what I want just didn’t happen. Even getting gifts didn’t feel the same. Between school, working and helping provide for my family of seven as an older brother, I’ve taken the subtle but giant step from childhood into adulthood. I’m growing up and, whether I like or not, I’m expected to become more.
Didn’t I always want this? The independence to pay my cell phone bill, to go on dates, to have my own life, rules, and goals”¦ Every kid wants to be just like Daddy and Mommy. We model ourselves after them because we don’t know any better.
We want for no good reason to jump right into the mysterious realm of adulthood. Being on that threshold, I still marvel at the vagueness that lies ahead, but the wide-eyed romance that once flooded my mind is beginning to peel at the corners. After so many lectures, the vapid adage, “You are too old for this,” is finally coming down to Earth. I am too old for many things I once enjoyed. Instead, I’m becoming just old enough to do other things, most of which aren’t as amazing as they once seemed.
I probably won’t enjoy Christmas with the same excitement of my childhood. To top it off, I turn 21 in 2015, the gateway into adulthood, with a looming “DO NOT BACK UP; SEVERE TIRE DAMAGE” sign on it. While terribly tempting, I don’t plan to back up. Instead, like the rest of my peers, I plan on rolling the dice like young couples eloping at midnight.
Not all of life is a gamble though. I have a major in college, some idea of a future career (just don’t expect 100% certainty with me) and my own opinions about morality, sexuality, politics, and truth. For the first time, I have an identity based on ideas that I have curated and that I will revise and improve as I get older and allow life’s ambiguity to happen.
Although these Adult Holidays will become reminders of the years adding up, l feel that in their wake remains some of the hope from my childhood. The words of John Silver, from Disney’s Treasure Planet, ring true: “You’ve got the makings of greatness in you, but you got to take the helm and chart your own course.”
I’m not sure what the New Year holds, but I think the whole point of being a grown-up is that you aren’t supposed to know. You have to plan for the best and prepare for the worst. This is the first true New Year of my on-the-cusp adult life.