What They Don’t Tell You About Growing Up; Part Two

Remember when you were a wee one and all you wanted to do was “grow up” to do this, be that? But then, once you actually “grew up,” none of those things happened and you really just ended up being self-aware enough to realize your shortcomings?

If you asked 5-year-old me, I wanted to be an indy car racer. In fact, I wanted to be an indy car racer so badly that in elementary school, I stood on the cafeteria stage to announce it to the entire kindergarten population and their families. Then at age 7, I was set on becoming an artist. Ten-year-old me wanted to be American Idol’s next superstar.

Oh, the hope in those eyes.
Oh, the hope in those eyes.

When I was 11, I begged my mother to let me join the only theatre I’d ever heard of, Playhouse 19. In my attempt to become a thespian, and because my mom never let me join Playhouse 19, I enrolled in drama class at school when I was 13, performed a monologue with an awful British accent, landed the main role in our only play, and then called it quits after my debut.

I stopped dreaming after that.

Now, my biggest adventure is trying a new Panera Bread location. Kindergarten Alyssa would be disgusted with 23-year-old Alyssa. In my defense though, Kindergarten Alyssa was kind of a narcissist. Or wait, was that 23-year-old Alyssa? I can’t keep up. All the Alyssas are kind of terrible and awesome at the same time.

Anyway, I’m sure you guys remember my recent post about this “growing up” issue. It detailed all the things people didn’t tell us would happen when we grew up. In fact, it got so depressing that I actually found myself wishing I were a thimble instead of a human.

But then I got to thinking – what kind of pessimistic optimist would I be if I didn’t balance out my negativity with some cold, hard positivity? So I wanted to create another terrible list of the cool things that come with growing up. After all, we might as well find at least a couple reasons to smile amidst our loveless, moneyless, hopeless livelihoods… Right?

Here’s Part Two: A few things about growing up that no one told you and also don’t entirely suck…


1. You can stay out as late as you want!

Having no curfew is simultaneously the most beautiful and the most detrimental thing to ever grace your life. Sure, go out on a work night! Nobody’s stopping you! DANCE! ALL. NIGHT. LONG.


… But you’re going to be hungover as heck at work the next day, because “grown up” hangovers are comparable to actual death. Number One place to be hungover? Work. Number Two? The DMV. And may the Lord have mercy on you, if you work at the DMV and you’re hungover.


2. You have your own credit card! 

You make all your own money and everything you want is just a swipe away. Flash sale on rainboots? BOGO punny t-shirts? Treat yourself! You’ll pay it back later!!


… But it’s a lot harder to pay back the things you never had the money for in the first place. And then you fall into a black hole of debt where the walls are made of mean interest rates that make sure you’re good and buried. What’s more? All you want is for people to “Leaf You Alone” when they ask you to do anything that involves money.


3. You can watch whatever you want! 

No more watching the news. You don’t have to be informed at all. You can live in the world of Bob’s Burgers forever and never emerge from your room ever again!


… But you never emerge from your room ever again. (I’m just gonna leave that there.)


4. You can eat whatever you want, whenever you want!

Waiting for “dinnertime” is so childish. Eat that pre-dinner-burger before your dinner-burger. Have that slice of cake for breakfast. Nobody’s watching you. Go on with your bad self! Everything is so much more delicious when it feels wrong!


… The adult metabolism is unfortunately as slow as the dial-up Internet connection you used to curse when trying to sign onto AIM. Eating whatever you want, combined with never leaving your room, is a death sentence. So just like, be careful with all that pizza.


5. Nobody forces you to exercise! 

Ugh, all those weekly sports practices you had to go to, sometimes 5, 6, days per week!? “Recess?” Never again! Your body is your temple; you can do whatever you want with it! Not naturally skinny? No sense in faking it! Own it!!


… The only thing wrong with this is the fact that we can’t actually be a sack of potatoes. Not being forced to exercise is kind of really great.


6. You have your own house!

Or apartment, or tent, or whatever you people live in. But this is awesome because you get to make your own rules! “House Rules” can be established either spontaneously during beer pong or you could be a Pinteresty person and post them on a cute chalkboard next to your shabby chic DIY armoire. Don’t have an armoire? Who cares! It’s your house! Woo!


… But cleaning up your own mess is way less fun than making your parents or housekeeper do it. So you have to actually put things back when you take them out. It’s ridiculous.


7. You are entitled to your own opinions! 

Once you hit 18 here in the US, you’re legally an adult, meaning you don’t have to make anyone happy but yourself. You can vote Democrat, you can follow a band as it tours the country, you can go skydiving, you can do whatever you want! The world is your oyster! Write a blog about it!!


… But no matter how much freedom you find, you will always offend someone. My advice? Keep those tried-and-true insults in your back pocket, ready to fire back when someone disagrees with your opinions. As an adult, you are free to be bitter and defensive, so you should totally do it! Everyone loves those kinds of people.

Aaaand it looks like I could only conjure seven positive points about growing up. Feel free to finish my list in the comments. I didn’t discover a new Panera today and my acting career is over, so I could use a little pick-me-up. As Stacie Orrico so catchily sang, There’s gotta be more to life… But really, is there?


  • Show Comments (4)

  • Erika

    Did you find stacie’s hit on my Now 2 cd?

    • Alyssa Ruane

      No, but Semisonic, Fatboy Slim and 98 Degrees were all on that beautiful album. #ThankYou #CDHoarder

  • Luis

    When I was a kid all I wanted to do was drive. I remember getting joy out of just starting the car. It was cool for a little while. Now it’s the most frustrating part of my day. It’s almost like before you have your drivers license, traffic just didn’t exist!

    • Alyssa Ruane

      Funny, I still love driving! I don’t mind traffic, as long as I’m not in a hurry somewhere – which, I realize, I never really am. It reminds me to be patient. But I will admit, driving used to be a LOT cooler…

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