When I Grow Up -What Your Parents Didn’t Tell You

Gather round boys and girls and let me tell you the story of how I got hoodwinked. It all started when I was a small tot. I looked up to most adults and dreamt about the day I would have freedom and independence to do whatever I wanted to do. “When I grow up- insert foolish childish thought here .” That was about 17 years ago, now, at 25 I’m left to question why the hell I was in such a hurry to become an adult. –This shit is for the birds.

When you’re a kid grown-ups feed you bullshit lines like “Enjoy your life while you’re young. Don’t be in a hurry to grow up fast. Eat your vegetables. Be nice to people.” When what they should have been saying is “Enjoy not having bills because bill collectors will stalk you. Student loan sharks don’t care that you have to have money to eat. The repo man is not afraid of you running outside in your headscarf and cursing him out –he’s trained for psychos like you.”

I went off to college wearing rose-colored glasses and now I still wear those same glasses except they’ve acquired numerous scratches and have been broken a few times so they lean a little to the left. Not still wearing them by choice, but mainly because my “insurance” doesn’t cover a new pair. If I had the option to wear onesies, take naps at work and watch cartoons in the morning -I’d gladly take that option over uncomfortable ass business casual, loads of caffeine to survive and depressing ass nightly news.

And don’t get me started on the metabolism you have as a kid –you can eat multiple slices of pizza, a burger, fries and soda and not think twice about it. Once you get older you don’t even look at food the same; you see calories, salt intake and carbs (well at least as a woman). You know shit got real when you have to bargain with yourself about having dessert for tonight or not having it so you can go out for drinks on the weekend. AND if you decide to just be wreck-less, you’ll be starting a new diet Monday that won’t last past Wednesday just to feel better about your poor decision making you had this Tuesday. Wheeeeeeennnn did my life become a math problem? “If Ashley has a brownie sunday on Tuesday and walks 3 miles on Thursday at Alive After Five while she drinks 3 glasses of wine, how many hours will Ashley need to stay on the Eliptical to eliminate all additional calories acquired this week?”

As a kid you hash out disagreements with an adult mediating the situation and making you hug your offender to call a truce. Well giving out hugs DID NOT prep me for the assholes at work that I wouldn’t mind pushing down into the sand box or throat punching. Can I blame my foot in your ass on my ignorance and lack of proper training during childhood? No? Ok.

“Sharing is caring.” They said. Well somehow I don’t think that rule applies when it comes to my man. When you’re little dudes only care about hand-holding and kisses, nowadays men don’t like PDA (PDA. n. Public Display of Affection) but want you hanging from the ceiling in the bedroom. Whooooolllleeee new meaning to that jungle gym you climbed as a kid.

Clearly there are other factors that influence the quality of early adulthood –these are the sentiments of a lower middle class single parent household first generation college student African American woman. I came out the womb with 2 strikes against me and I truly quote The Color Purple when I think of my struggle- “All my life I had to fight.” I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting which led into this venting session, all I want to know is if this thing gets better in the 30s or nah? For the time being if anyone is looking for me I’ll be in my blanket fort coloring and eating a bowl of cereal.


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