Except, well — it kinda is.
Sure, I had some fun growing up — there were the parties, the drugs, the excess and everything that went along with it. I’ve drank more than most people should have in their late teens / early twenties and I’ve taken substances that I can’t even remember the name of. I stayed up for three days straight in other people’s living rooms, discussing the meaning of life, the fourth dimension and how I floated around the universe in a camping chair without ever leaving where I was in the space of 30 seconds. I’ve been to festivals, I’ve broken bones, I’ve sung till my voice was sore and I’ve felt that rush of pure elation when the DJ absolutely fucking nails it, the mix of people in the room and the tunes booming through your chest just resonate perfectly. I’ve spent money on frivolous car journeys, useless pieces of technology and six years worth of renting houses, meeting friends that have become like family.
Except the last 10 years haven’t been all happy times. I’ve done some pretty shitty things to some really great people and put way too much trust in some pretty shitty people. I’ve been fired from one job and worked in two until my level of enthusiasm got to breaking point. I’ve been through at least three mental breakdowns — the last one I’m still not fully over. I put too much effort into planning what I was going to do with my weekend and no where near enough time thinking what would happen next week, month or year.
And now I’ve found myself here. A grown up. I’ve bought a house, my daughter is going to arrive into the world any day now. I run my own business. I have an accountant and file a tax return. I drive a sensible family hatchback and I own two pairs of fucking brogues. My life has changed a significant amount over the last two years, compared to what it was in the eight years before that. I’ve grown up, I feel a little older and I’m actually looking forward to life now. It wasn’t until I came round to the stark realisation I was going to be a dad that I decided I should probably give up smoking (for realsies this time). Now, rather than worrying about whether or not I’ll be able to pick up in time for Friday night I worry about when my shed is going to arrive and if the weather will be nice enough to put it up when it does arrive.
Growing up is a lot of fun, but wholly unsustainable. If I spent any longer living the lifestyle of my early 20’s I’d probably be dead by the time I was 40. Being a grown up is just as fun, but you can find joy in different areas of your life. Renovating my house into a home and the thought of bringing up my little girl to be a strong and independent Woman brings me way more joy than the thought of punching the ceilings of Undertone at 3am when someone else drops that absolute banger.
Growing up now feels like running around the hiking store with handfuls of knives, lighters and flammable objects. Being a grown up feels more like the moment when you reach the top of mountain and see the sun set with a drink in your hand and people you love around you.