We’re Never Growing Up
I’m growing up, in one of those stages, in the process of getting older—it’s always all of you, and all at once, that is changing. Since the first viewing of Peter Pan, the myth of becoming “mature” flitted between a goal and the number one thing to run away from. When do you officially cross that threshold though? From the “not” to the “crowd,” the “young” to the “old?” Its surely not 16, after all that’s simply a drivers license and any person can attest to the immaturity of a high schooler. 18 marks adulthood, but begs to differ, and the existence of campus celebrity crosses university of the list. We don’t really use these definitions to show growing up though, because there are the blips that stop rules from being made. The 9-year old who reminds you how to wonder at the world, the high school senior haggard from experience, or the actual Senior who still uses whoopee cushions in the nursing home.
Getting past the obvious of everyone changing and all the time, maturity isn’t singularity. Not all of who we are becomes wizened at the same time. We understand metaphysics and forget how to interact with people, crack inappropriate jokes but clean our own mechanics. The process of crossing “the threshold” [what is it again?], is compartmental as we bit-by-bit give ourselves enough space to grow into. I think this is how I explain away my own confusion. At every stage of life, something comes along and I cant help but wonder, aren’t I already supposed to know how to feel, how to act? Do I not understand enough yet? So much of us seems past one section of growing up, but another half lags behind. We don’t flip switches and become mature, nor do we leap between maturity levels all at once… and perhaps we couldn’t handle that if it was a reality. Rather, we play Peters game—we slowly and awkwardly move part by part, rung by rung, in the Jacobs ladder of “growing up.”