I hate to admit it, but my parents were right. Please, nobody tell them I said so!
They tried to warn me. Tried to prepare me for what was to come, pushing to develop my unused and often unrealized potential. I pushed back of course, as stubborn children are apt to do, having mistaken the wisdom in their guidance and discipline for tyrannical control. That’s not to claim the methods used were perfect—they are human beings after all—but they did what they could to mold me into a man capable of escaping the rat trap. One motivated enough to understand the value of time and energy and utilize those riches while plentiful. They had advised I use them to my advantage while young, before it became too late. Before they ran out. Before having to step onto the wheel where both time and energy work for others but against you.
Not knowing what I had, I squandered two of the most precious items known to existence. I let them slip from between my fingers. And like so many others out there, I didn’t heed my elders’ warnings. I preferred to learn the hard way, and too late came faster than expected.
I was too focused on the moment, blinded by my pursuit to feed an insatiable hunger for temporary gratification. That hunger, I later learned, was really a demon named YOLO who could never be satisfied. The more I fed into it, the hungrier it became, and the cost of indulgence resulted in a future tormented by regret and existential uncertainty. Now, each day is spent begging for a reprieve, for a sliver of time or potential to return and save me from what was waiting after I outgrew Neverland.
But the wheel keeps on spinning, indifferent to my plight. And the more time I spend on it, the faster it seems to turn.
Adults Know Something Kids Rarely Understand
Every working adult out there knows what I’m talking about. Kids, however, typically don’t. They don’t know the soul-suck that occurs when having to dedicate the bulk of our time, energy, and remaining potential working forty-plus hours a week for forty-plus years. They don’t understand the physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion our responsibilities (and the cruelty of an uncaring world) inflict upon us. They don’t know what it’s like to have to set our dreams aside and face reality.
Those who have been living in the adult world long enough know that trying to do anything beyond our responsibilities is hard as hell. And, because of this, many of us have had to accept our dreams will never be achieved (I’d still like to be a Major League pitcher but at 32 with a noodle arm, I don’t think it’s gonna happen). The older we get, the more difficult it is to pursue something greater with our lives, which often leads us to look back at our younger days with a weird mixture of fondness and regret.
So, let this article stand as a warning to any young folk out there reading it. Know that life doesn’t end when the fun is over, it changes. And while I’ve painted a pretty crappy picture of adulthood so far, please don’t let what I said discourage or frighten you. There are tons of good things about it, but I wanted to explain how life becomes a different kind of complicated, challenging, tedious and confusing when you get older.
And, in case it’s unclear, I’m not saying don’t have fun or avoid making mistakes—both are necessary components to develop into a well-rounded adult—just be sure to remember that when it’s all over, when life forces you to grow up, the hamster wheel is there waiting.
The best time to do something about it is when you’re young.
To all the grown-ups reading this, don’t you dare get discouraged or give up! While your dreams and the difficulty in pursuing them may have changed, keep holding onto hope! And keep moving forward! It’s only too late if you allow it to be.
Lastly, this is going to sound lame, but listen to your parents when they tell you to work hard and enjoy being young while you can. I know I wish I would’ve taken them more seriously when I was growing up and am certain there are many more out there who wish the same.
Before You Go!
Being an adult isn’t all THAT bad but knowing what I know now, there are a few things I wish I would’ve done differently. Does anyone else feel that way? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the Comments Section below!
Also, if you enjoyed what I’ve written here you may enjoy my book! Check out the links below for more information!
My Book, Through the Devil’s Eyes, is Now Available at Barnes & Noble!
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You’ve Heard God’s Side of the Story. Time to Hear Mine!