My parents, like all other parents, often embarrass me with a story from my childhood.

I’d often wrap my mom’s dupatta like a saree, steal a purse from her closet, fit myself into her heels and tell my parents I’m leaving. On being asked where exactly I plan on going, I’d say “awwfish.”

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Such was the hurry to grow up and start doing things. 

I think this sentiment is pretty much true for all of us present-day adults, a term I very unwillingly associate myself with. Back when we were all kids, we’d look at the adult world as the ultimate destination. The phase in life where you work, get money and buy things. Moreover, the freedom! No one ever stops you from eating junk food, buying clothes and wearing heels with your lipstick on. 

Everything was picture perfect.

But then adulthood actually happened. Hit you in the face, didn’t it?

Now, I won’t deny that the freedom is something I love. Spending endless money on junk food that will eventually clog my arteries, buying all those clothes I will never wear and wearing heels that will leave me with aching feet. And oh, the lipstick? 

My childhood self laughs at my adult self every morning when I barely manage to put together a decent formal outfit let alone do make-up. Going to ‘awwfish’ seems like a painful task rather than an ultimate destination.

Adulthood does seem pretty damn cool when you’re a kid but honestly, it actually pretty much sucks. 

I mean, with all the freedom and money, I learnt that I can survive on only momos for exactly a week, that doing laundry is not important if you use enough deodorant and that even buying a quarter of Old Monk is a luxury at the end of every damn month because I already spent too much on momos, goddammit!

And then comes the other actual serious stuff: taxes, finances, finding a flat, finding a flatmate, and then dealing with her, doing laundry, trying to keep away from alcohol on weekdays, trying not to cry when you watch Home Alone while you are home alone and never publicly admitting to the fact that Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off is the only thing keeping your emotional stability afloat.

My mom says it builds resilience, all this hard work, but mommy, it only makes you lose your sanity every passing day as you try to tell your landlord that there were no boys in the flat last night, and then try to give your boss an exceptionally creative excuse for coming in late to work. 

My God, if I ever used that kind of creativity for work, my editors would be slightly more pleased with me.

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Now, the government tells me I’m an adult. I can vote, get married and do other adult things which I’m not quite aware of but I’m sure it’s all just as tough as doing your own taxes. I, however, cannot drink till I’m 25. And honestly, I am not waiting for that day. The kid who so desperately wanted to just grow up is dreading the day she can go into a bar, flash her ID and get a drink. That would be the last of my childhood.

The thing is that no matter what the government says, I cannot adult.

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I’ve tried to come to office on time in clean clothes. I’ve tried to make food at home once and failed. I’ve tried to wake up one fine day without a hangover and haven’t been able to manage. I’ve also tried to do my own taxes and we know where that one goes.

Now, when my parents smile while narrating tales of my childhood naivety to me, I smile right back at them knowing that it was exactly that, childhood naivety.

But here’s to all the unwilling adults! We’re all in it together.