Those wise sages of Blink 182 once said, "Well, I guess this is growing up." They would know more than me, I suspect.
I mean, to be in a pop-punk band must take some responsibility and maturity, right? To get your hair spiked, get those catchy three-chord ditties down to a science, and be onstage before the kids lose interest and move onto dubstep - you have to be on schedule, cross the I's, dot the T's. Even punks have to grow up. I'm sure Henry Rollins takes his multivitamins. The Ramones said "I Don't Wanna Grow Up," but even they had 401Ks, I'm sure.
Me, I'm not so sure. My Peter Pan-dom is well documented. My inner child is still in charge. Having a checking account and a job keeps my life from being a nonstop teddy-bear tea party. Well, maybe that's exaggerating. But I did blast the theme song from "The Neverending Story" in my car on the way to work today and pump my fist out the window saying "Yeah!" If that's wrong, I don't wanna be right.
Of course it's OK to have fun and embrace your inner child - as long as your outer child pays the bills, does the dishes, toes the line. There should always be a part of you that runs free with abandon, a part that lives in eternal summer, a part that can always find adventure, fun, and happiness in the simplest things.
But, of course, life is not a nonstop teddy-bear tea party. Sometimes you have to put Boo-Boo (that's my teddy's name - what's yours?) away and do your taxes. And I guess that is growing up.
Growing up has been fun well, some of it. I like the satisfaction that comes with paying bills, putting away a bag of groceries, getting the oil changed. Running errands and opening my wallet for a debit card or checkbook feels so mature. I got my first grown-up wallet a few years ago (one that didn't have skulls on it), and it felt neat flashing it whenever I had to do something adult. Clipping coupons still feels like a novelty for me, something that "grown-ups" do.
There's a trend where young people like doing stuff traditionally viewed as being for older people. Young girls love knitting and canning fruit. Young men grow beards and smoke pipes and wear cardigans and carve stuff out of wood. It's never too early to learn a useful skill, but it seemed that before, teens shunned anything that could be conceived as old fogey-esque. Now, it's quaint and cool to sew your own clothes and wear old-timey sea captain hats.
I have been a grown-up myself for some time, but it still hasn't hit me. I still feel like high-school me. Some days, grade-school me. I bought some old hats from the 1940s at a garage sale and it's like I'm a little girl playing dress-up. I still feel like my parents are around every corner to catch me buying a dress instead of groceries or letting my gas tank go below E. Adults still seem like they're in charge - it hasn't sunk in that I'm one of them now.
It's a great feeling to take care of business. Accomplishment is a beautiful thing. As you grow, your accomplishments mount up. Mix that with a generous dose of childhood's greatest hits, and I guess that is growing up. I'll get back to you when I'm eighty.