"No darling, that's for grownups."
I can't pinpoint the exact moment this was said to me for the first time, but I can almost guarantee I was holding a mid 90s Smart Price can of cider...You've probably heard it yourself, whether it's been said to you, for you or by you, we can all agree it's a phrase everybody understands (even if they don't particularly enjoy hearing it..)
But what happens when you go from being the stroppy kid in the shop to the onlooking adult paying for a crate of Carlsberg?
Throughout our lives, parents, teachers, and tutors are preparing us for the real world, but time moves so fast that we never even see it until we're slap bang in the middle of it.
I hit planet earth with a huge bang quite recently. I was sitting at my desk working on a project when I decided to make myself a coffee, all was well with the world until I turned to lean against the counter and saw a room full of adults... they sat and filed paperwork, some clacked away at their keyboard, there were even a few complaints from people who were "just too busy."
At first glance, I was just another adult in a busy office doing my time, but in my head, all I could think of was how I wasn't ready for this life yet, I needed to go back to school, I needed time to get to grips with how the world works!
Now this is the kicker, the part of the story that's scarier than any horror film, the life-changing epiphany—okay so I may be exaggerating slightly but hey I'm a journalist—I am ready for this life, I've already been back to school, I've gotten to grips with taxes, what days the bins are collected and how much rice is in a portion.
So the burning question is, why don't I feel like an adult yet?
The only way I knew how to get a definitive answer to this was to pose the question to someone who was a little bit more adultier than I am. Yes, that would be my mother. At 55 and fabulous, she laughed at me—in between giggles—"Rach, don't ask me I'm still 18 in my head." I KNEW IT!
I thought by this point I'd worked out the meaning of life (throw a tantrum to get a beer) but I wasn't done, that wasn't a good enough conclusion. So I came up with my own...
When you're a kid you're forever told that you have to act your age, when you're in school you have to plan out your life and when you're in further education you need to know which direction you're heading in and start working on a ten-year plan, but the truth is that's just not how life works. Life is made up of a series of spontaneous decisions mixed in with a pot full of luck.
I spend most of my life trying to figure out how I'm able to have a beautiful house, an incredibly patient fiancé and a career that I could ever only have dreamed of, I know I've made a lot of mistakes in my life, everybody does and it's those mistakes that have brought me to where I am right now.
Yes, there were times when all I wanted to do was go to my mum's house and ugly cry until I was all dried up—sometimes I did—but it's the times when you feel as though you want to give up that make you who you are, knowing that you're building yourself up every time you get dragged down is the key to being a "grownup."
Next time you're running from responsibility like Indiana Jones running from garden ornaments you should stop to think of all the times you made it through to the other side.
The truth of the matter is, even the most adultiest adult doesn't feel like a grownup yet and that's okay because it's the decisions you make and the knowledge you have that will make people listen to what you have to say.
So If you've ever felt like you don't belong in a sea full of adults just remember that they all feel like a fish out of water too.