When you're a teenager you are chomping at the bit to get to eighteen. To be able to say that you are officially an adult. The truth is, most of us don't become adults until we're in our twenties; for some not even until their thirties. Yes, you can now legally buy alcohol (in the UK that is) and you will be tried as an adult, but you won't suddenly become a model of maturity. That comes with life experience and is generally part of your personality already.
Some adults will tell you being an adult is hard. They're not wrong. Bills, taxes, mortgages, and more bills. It's exhausting. What they fail to warn you about though, is the lack of freedom. Being free to do what you want when you want is one of the biggest reasons you rush your childhood. You want to break free of the chains of bedtimes and being made to eat your greens. It's true. You can now decided these things for yourself, but don't confuse that with freedom. As an adult your shackles are tighter and heavier than ever before. Sure there's no bedtime, but if you don't get enough sleep you will feel like death the next day and your performance at work will drop, which could in turn affect your job. Yes you can now eat what you want, but you'll put on weight, your teeth will suffer and your overall health will deteriorate.
But you can now legally drink alcohol. The desire won't last. When you first start drinking the chances are that you will overcompensate and drink to excess. You will wake up the next morning with a builder's yard in full swing in your head, half your dinner brought back up across your floor and no recollection of who you hooked up with. This loses its appeal after time. You may come across an alcoholic drink that you actually enjoy and choose to drink in moderation over a meal with friends, but the crazy weekends will die out soon enough.
It's not all doom and gloom, I promise. You get to fall in love and I don't mean the stars in your eyes, mushy over the top teenage love. I mean the you've found the other half of you, your partner in crime kind of love. The you don't care about walking around the house in scruffs with no make up and unbrushed hair kind of love. The making them soup and cleaning up their puke kind of love. There's something indescribably wonderful about adult love.
And when you think you're heart couldn't possibly have room for anyone else along comes a child, or four. Your three sizes too small heart will beat and grow, and soon you will be singing the most ridiculous songs and dancing like a children's presenter on crack just to see your baby smile, to hear them laugh.
Life will forever be full of ups and downs, there's no escaping that. The downs will be worse than you had ever anticipated, but then the ups will be more euphorias than you thought was possible. Life is something that no one knows how to navigate, you just go along with the ride. There are always more corners, more unopened doors. Coming from someone who seems to live in a perpetual black cloud, even I know there are possibilities out there that could turn my whole life around. And that's what being an adult is all about. Possibilities. Endless possibilities.
Don't take your childhood and teen years for granted. Napping and getting away with an attitude is something you will greatly miss. There is an innocence of youth that you will never get to revisit, so don't rush to end it.
But there is something entirely different about the world when you 'come of age'. Hold onto who you are and grasp life with both hands. Take the good with the bad. Life is hard, yet so rewarding. Your one and only job is to live it.