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Whatever happened to "when I grow up"?

When exactly are we supposed to stop saying "When I grow up?" I still don't feel like a grown up, and I'm almost 30. I don't think it's completely due to the circumstances I had growing up either. I get a sense that a lot of people my age don't feel like adults.

It just seems like years ago, there was a delineation between childhood and adulthood. There were rights of passage of some sort, sweet 16 parties, confirmations. People got married after high school, beginning their adult lives. The expecation was that one would be adultlike upon exiting high school.

Now, many of us are still in school through our twenties. We still get drunk, run around til 3am, sleep in late. Not many get married at 21 and have babies. (Ok, so I got married at 19, and have two kids at 28-but that's different) I STILL don't feel grown up-in fact, I keep waiting for someone to call me out as a faker. I'm not a MOM, not really. I still wear army boots, and my skinny puppy shirt. I still like to dance like a fool in the kitchen, and I like to argue Mac over PC.

What is it that makes us feel like children still? Is it the lack of a cause? Is it the way we were raised in the seventies and eighties? I remember feeling this horrible sense of dread as a child, and just waiting for the "bomb" to fall. Do we only mature if we have something to fight for? I remember being a kid, and not being allowed to call friends parents by anything other than their full name Mr. or Mrs. Jones. Now, I can't imagine telling my kids to call a friend that. I don't feel old enough.

Am I alone in this?

when i got to sixth grade, i felt like an adult!! going there amongst all those big kids... from then on, at every stage in my life i thought "this is it.. i'm an adult"... i'm turning 21 soon, and i'm thinking this'll be the real IT...
does this answer your question?

No, you are not alone on this! Haha! I'm a big kid. Actually, I don't think there are any adults around. Anywhere. I think they are all gone. Hehehe........

you guys are scaring me... i foresee an early midlife crisis for myself now!!
now, that i think about it, you people are right... my parents act like big babies...
but maybe that's why i grew up faster than i should've!!

My theory is that with kids, one gets more responsible and only harbours fantasies of still being a kid him/herself.

I'm not totally grown up yet - I'm still out for fun and out for me. I think it's having responsibilities beyond yourself that really grow you up.

I think our generation (and the one or two before us) is rejecting the idea that we have to age into the Mom/Dad/Grandparent figures/stereotypes we are used to... No matter how wrinkly we get, we still want to be the "us" that we were as young adults (before kids and responsibilities.)

Ack. That answer seemed so incomplete.

Growning up sucks - I don't feel like an adult, i still make stupid shit up for my blog, play computer games, go see bands etc... and I'm early thirties... I have no intention of ever getting 'normal' and acting like an adult is supposed to act.

Early 30s....hahahahaha! I'm a young 38 and I'm still wondering what I want to do when I grow up and when I'll actually grow up and feel more mature! Hmmmm, the question is: do I really want to go there?

i like karen's theory... reserving our identities and not becoming stereotypes... i think that's it!! i too am scred of being just Mommy...

I guess then I wonder if it's a bad thing to stay "young"-I feel this weird sense of duality, because on one hand I've felt like an old woman from having to grow up so fast, yet on the otherhand, I believe that everyone has an age they stay in their head, and for me, it's 17.
Is it a bad thing for us to stay this way? Are we possibly causing any issues for ourselves, or our children, or is this just an advance on the perception of aging, parenthood and adulthood as a whole?

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