By nirav parmar

Growing Up Ain’t Easy

“The absence of problems and sufferings is not happiness. Refusing to be defeated, being able to endure whatever comes our way – that is happiness.” – Daisaku Ikeda

So, I recently turned 20 last November. I wasn’t overwhelmed at the first place that one of life’s most enjoyable and important times i.e. my teenage years has passed away like a clock’s ticking and I’ve turned an adult now. But eventually at the end of the day, I did realize that. Hence I had an idea of writing about how scary it is to grow old and old day by day and year after year. So let’s talk about it, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this light read. I’ll try to keep it as simple as possible. Let’s go then…..

We all have been waiting to become an adult right? Like freedom, no restrictions, we can do anything we want and all. But now when I look back I think early teens were the best time of my life. Those school sessions, chilling with friends, not having any stress about career and other stuff, no one asking about your plans or your dating life, etc etc.

Do I enjoy my life today? Yes. In the same way? Nah. I do enjoy living in 2021 but it’s very inclusive. It’s difficult right now to find somebody “LIKE YOU”. When I look back to my 14 or 15-year-old self, I see a boy who was just fond of television. Watching his favorite cartoons and Disney shows the whole time (yes I used to watch cartoons when I was 15, don’t pretend you didn’t. I know you did too). Yes moving on, that 15-year-old boy was clueless. And if I compare my 20-year-old self and 15-year-old self then I’d be surprised how much I’ve changed in just a half decade. I’ve always known I was a Bollywood spoof but never knew I was a 90s kid unless recently discovering what 90s songs do to my mood. From a kid who liked listening and dancing to newly released songs to an adult feeling all of his emotions while listening to those 90s music, I’ve come a long way. Not trying to judge or anything but now, I like to be around people who prefer 90s and early 20s Bollywood music over these new era party shuffles.

You know you’re growing out of your teen mind when you find differences into everyday life. Let me give you an example that all of us have experienced but it has remained in the back of our mind forever. Summer has recently arrived; did you find anything different in your childhood’s summer mornings and today’s summer mornings? I’m sure nowadays you don’t hear that cuckoo bird’s call when you wake up, but this isn’t because they aren’t making any noises but the reason is we have been very busy to hear that. We start working the second we wake up. Be it our assignments or studies or jobs or anything, and it’s not even our fault. This is because we are growing in 2021 where nobody wants to waste their precious time in hearing these nature’s voices. I too wasn’t able to recall when did I last hear that call in these summer mornings. Unless I did, just a couple of days ago I woke up hearing these cuckoo birds’ call, and I was damned. And that’s when I realized how busy I have been in growing that many incidents like these are already a childhood memories. Weird right? Well what can we do, as we know “Change is the law of nature” and we can’t be Mohabbatein’s Amitabh Bachchan who hates changes, can we? Moving on….

So, yeah I’ve changed, everybody does right? And when I notice the mental changes I’ve been through, it’s interesting and scary at the same time. My goals, my perspectives, my ideas for society, my beliefs and my words have completely changed. These transformations are great and I’m very proud of it (not being a narcissist) but at the same time it’s scary to know that it’s very different than any other kid of my age. The thing that I’m gaining my qualifications just like I thought I would is so happening, but the thought of searching for a job after I complete my studies is scary.

I am a kid who grew up watching those American Disney shows dreaming to live my early 20s in those big cities; I guess many of you too had those “Big American Dreams”. But the moment of realization that the dream I dreamt is certainly impossible for a middle class boy like me is certainly as scary as seeing Annabelle in the middle of the night lying right next to you. And to move on with life believing those dreams won’t ever come true is just very hard to accept for a growing teenager’s mind right? Well, we all cop up and it’s not rocket science for me to do so. But it is a big deal if you think about it.

If you think deep down in your heart, you’ll realize there have been certain moments in your life that made you realize that you’ve outgrown your inner child and now you’re on your way to be an adult, an adult with lots and lots of responsibilities. I’m sure you’ll find at least one memory of that kind. My moment of realization must be those college application days after school. I too had the mindset that every fresher has; applying for courses, that offers more scope and jobs after graduation. The moment I was informed I didn’t get in a university I applied to, that was my first choice to study at was my moment of realization of passing away of that fearless teenage boy. At first I was devastated after hearing of the rejection from the university. It was so worse that I almost got a wave of depression and anxiety, but eventually I grew out of it and continued to my back up college. And to be honest I’m happy that I didn’t get into that university. Why? The reason I still have hopes to fulfill my professional dream is only that I didn’t give up and continued with my back up college. I don’t know if it’s me being an optimist or it was meant my destiny, whatever you call it; I’m happy for being where I am right now.

Growing up is even harder when everyone has expectations from you. Like okay, I understand everybody’s parents expect some great things from their children and it’s absolutely fine, but I’m talking about those other people expecting things from you. As if everyone says, you’re so smart you must have planned your future and all. This adds one more pound of stress to the already existing hundreds.

Well at the moment, I believe everything happens for a reason and everything will fall into places when time comes. I know there’s a lot of pressure on us for taking responsibilities and starting our new life right now but we can’t waste our present in worrying for the future that doesn’t even exist for now, can we? I know it sounds pretty cliché but it is what it is. Even I spend many nights overthinking about the future but I guess it’s normal for us, especially the people who have recently entered their 20s. So from one angsty new adult to another – just chill out and focus on yourself.

At last I just want to say, “Whatever you become growing up, just remember to BE YOU”



2 thoughts on “Growing Up Ain’t Easy”

  1. Glad to hear that you are happy where you stand right now, more power to you to grow more and more and tackle every obstacle that comes between you and your dreams 🙂

  2. Oh !! That’s really great nirav u just wrote all of me out there , truely ‘ it ain’t easy ‘ .

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