06.15.12 Truth & Wisdom

Don’t Tell the Kids

Don’t Tell the Kids

BY Elizabeth Wren

As we grow up, adults tell us that we shouldn’t be in a rush. “Enjoy being a kid”, they say. It only intensifies as we get closer to being completely independent. Those adults are right on so many levels. When you go out on your own, suddenly you’re paying for everything. You’re the one responsible for remembering that the rent check needs to be in by the 1st (or the 5th, if you’re a daredevil). You’re the one who has to reach into the abyss of the garbage disposal to fish out the handle-less spoon that’s been grinding around in there for two weeks.

Adults are right, but they’re holding out on us. If we knew all the things we get to do once we’re on our own, we’d rush right through the end of year exams and teenage heartbreaks. We’d all run screaming toward the days when we can have impromptu dance parties in our living rooms to raunchy music because no one is around to see our stupid moves (that we totally stole from a chick flick).

If you’re like me, then you probably spent the first one, two or ten months of adulthood blinded by the expenses rather than noticing the awesome new experiences. Now that I’m about a year and a half into the whole grown-up thing I have a bit more clarity. Here are some great things we get to do now that we’re on our own:

First is the one woman dance party mentioned earlier. Have a few moments before you have to get ready for work? Put on some Beyoncé, turn it up and shake it like you’re in her latest video. I’m a runner. I try to get in a few miles five or six days a week. I love running, but some days I wake up and just don’t feel like going through the trouble of lacing up and heading out the door. This is when dancing around my apartment really comes in handy. For days like this, I have a Spotify playlist. I turn it on and do my best impression of when Ginnifer Goodwin and Kate Hudson performed their middle school dance routine in that NYC apartment in some romantic comedy I saw last year.

There’s also the fact that adults can eat whatever they want, whenever they want. Look, I’m not a diet person. I exercise regularly because I like to, but if you’re super conscious of what you eat you may want to skip this paragraph. Everyone else, have a warm cookie for breakfast! Don’t do it every single day, but occasionally you should do it just because you can. If you’re on your own you can ignore your parents’ rules about eating. Enjoy a burrito at 6am if that is your thing. Eat scrambled eggs for dinner every night for a week if you’d like (or if you want to save money). Nobody can say anything about it because you’re an adult!

Do you even realize that once you’re an adult you can choose to go out for a drink on a Tuesday night if you really want to? There’s no such thing as school nights. Sure, you have to be up for work the next day, but you can still have a little fun with friends on a weeknight just to get through the next few workdays.

Are you soaking in the perks? Need more evidence that adulthood is awesome? What about the fact that you can set the AC on any temperature you like. Did your parents freeze you out at home? Now you can set the thermostat to 80 every day of the year if you really want. Do you hate ironing but your clothes are wrinkly? Toss that dress in the dryer for a few minutes. Maybe it’s wasting energy, but now the time you’d spend ironing can be spent dancing.

The greatest thing about being on your own is getting to know yourself. I’ve listed things I love about adulthood, but the fact is once you’re living it you have the chance to find out what you like best. You’ll find out your natural cleaning patterns. Maybe you hate dirty dishes, but don’t mind clothes draped across your bed. Maybe you need to live clutter free, but don’t mind a sink full of muffin pans. You’ll finally learn the kinds of books you truly love because no one is walking by your bookshelf on a regular basis. Maybe you will discover you love to keep up with the Kardashians or yell at the TV when your favorite actor doesn’t win an Oscar.

Look, I don’t know you. The beauty is that you will, once you get the chance to really spend time with yourself. You’ll find you’re beautiful, weird, goofy and fun. It’s a wonderful secret, but don’t tell the kids because we don’t want them growing up too fast.

Elizabeth Wren is a journalist in her mid-twenties living in the Carolinas. She writes a television newscast by day, blog posts by night and makes lists on any paper she can find 24/7. Elizabeth was a track and field athlete for more a decade, specializing in sprints and jumps. Now she runs for fun and still jumps over things when people aren’t looking. She hopes to be known as the kindest woman in the world, but it’s a constant challenge. You can follow her on Twitter @elizabethquote


  • Miek van Mierlo

    I could not agree more! 🙂

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