Published on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 00:00
When I was just a little girl, I always thought of adults to be steadfast, infallible individuals who can do no wrong.
To me, they looked like they permanently have their game faces on, always thinking about numbers, finances, work and other adult responsibilities in the back of their minds. I was in constant amazement of the grownups; how they cope with all the stress without having fun, how when they take up the mantle of being an adult, they have to immediately banish all thoughts of living and playing in a carefree manner ever again like they once had when they were kids.
I asked myself when I was young, how would I be able to deal with the burden of adulthood. How would I face everything an adult is facing and not crumble in the face of adult adversity. How would I be able to go to adult work and know exactly what to do. How would I be able to endure the boring trudge through adult life.
So many questions. So many uncertainties. I did not want to grow up. I was afraid to.
And the horror of horrors to little Cheryl of growing up would mean that I would have to fall in love with a boy, hold hands, hug, kiss, get married, and have children. Ew ew ew yuck yuck yuck! Disgusting boys! Grossest of the grossest thing a child can ever think of! Unless times have changed and Asian kids are more open and vocal about falling in love.
I did not want to be an adult! That would mean that I would have to cease having fun and commence doing everything that I don’t want to do. I wanted to stay a kid, catching spiders with the boys, cycling and getting injuries from attempting bicycle stunts, playing with country erasers and hand-made slingshots. Yeah I was kind of a tom-boy last time. No Barbies for me. The only fun I had with Barbie dolls was with dismembering them. I was a weird kid. Don’t judge.
Being an adult would mean that I would have to stop doing everything that I love and everything that is fun. Right?
It was not until I reached 21 that I started to realize that I feel no different than I did when I was a child. I am still mischievous and playful at heart. It’s just the things I find fun have changed. Instead of catching spiders with the boys, I drink beers with the guys. Instead of getting injuries from cycling, I zoom around in my car like a pro racing driver (I wish). Instead of playing with country erasers and slingshots, I travel to different countries with my friends.
So the whole infallible adult theory I developed as a child was an entire lie! They do have fun but in a different way that kids do. The only reason why I saw adults as perfect beings were because they had more life experience than me when I was a child. Whatever mistakes they made in the past, they learn from to never repeat again. Your imperfections are what make you perfect.
“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill
Even until now I still feel like a child. I can’t think of myself as an adult even though I earn my own keep and do everything an adult does. Obviously, I have gotten over my repulsion for love but I still retain my child-like sense of fun. My personality, the thing that makes me, me, has never changed, nor do I think it ever will. What will always be on a constant change is how I deal with life as I progress, always improving and learning as I go along this wild, unpredictable journey.