Back when I was younger, I always sort of expected to magically become an adult -- to one day wake up as a responsible creature that knows the workings of the world and never ever eats cereal in his underwear while watching wrestling on YouTube at 9 am on a Tuesday. After years of striving to become that civilized fucker, I finally realized that he flat-out doesn't exist. All I'm ever going to become is a slightly less inexperienced me. This is another thing that tends to draw enthusiastic "yeah, I've totally been there" reactions whenever it comes up in the conversation. At some point, we all realize we're never going to gain that seemingly supernatural grown-up insight our parents had, because they were totally winging it too.
This is yet another thing that we all sort of know in the back of our heads, and even Hollywood -- the most cynical of all entities -- likes to remind us of the importance of keeping in touch with our inner child with a movie or six every year. Even so, many of us still strive to reach that arbitrary, nonexistent Adulthood Medal, with our career aspirations and fears of death and all the other junk we tend to get our head all stuck up with.
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"WE'RE PLAYING 'RESPONSIBLE ADULTS'! AHAHAHAHAHA!"
So why don't we all just fucking stop it? It's not like we'll become any wiser by pretending we're more grown up than we actually are.
Let's face the facts: You might be a parent of five. You might not have kids at all. You might be rich as Croesus, or struggle to make the next month fiscally alive. But you're always, always going to be a little kid at heart. You see it every day, with large, hard people who openly weep tears of happiness when their team scores, and hardcore businesspeople who drop their tough-as-nails role when they see their baby smile. Those moments are the ones we live for. They're not about adulthood, they're about pure, unbridled joy.
So, by any means, be as much or little of an adult as you want to. Just remember to drop the grown-up bullshit every once in a while, and fucking go embrace the little joys in life.
Pauli Poisuo is a Cracked columnist and freelance editor. Follow him on Twitter.