I have a Pinterest board titled “Apartment Goals” filled with pictures I hope my future house would look like. I have another one for craft ideas that deep down, I know I’m never going to make. I mean, I have the attention span of a toddler, so the idea that I’m going to sit down and make something seems a little far-fetched. But that’s the thing about growing up, we tend to dream more than we’d ever like to admit. We tuck away those lofty dreams and chalk it up to “someday”. We keep our goals private, hoping no one will point out the flaws in our aspirations. We’re afraid.

When you’re thinking about pursuing your dreams, you don’t want any other voices to remind you of how far you still have to go. So instead we keep our daydreams to ourselves. We don’t vocalize the fears of growing up or enormity of the responsibilities we have to take on. At what age does it suddenly hit that having an imagination is translated as being “immature”? What I never understand is how one moment, we’re being told to dream big and the next we’re packing up our imaginations and learning to be mature. If you ask me, I would rather be friends with the thirty-year-old woman wearing brightly coloured socks and blowing bubbles than the one sitting uptight, bound to a false version of herself.

When you’re in college, you’re told you have everything at your fingertips, and you think that maybe you just do, until you’re told otherwise. They may tell you that you have only one end goal. Get good grades, get a stable job and then mint money until you die. But there isn’t always a single straight path. You can fantasize and still be a functioning part of society. We encourage kids to dream, but stop championing adults who still do? No, that’s not what growing up is supposed to be.

At the end of the day, if we really did mature, there would only be one direction to go. And honestly, that sounds so boring. I think we grow in many more ways than just linearly. We take steps backwards, forwards and sideways. Sometimes, we can even take a U turn and still make it to our destination. Every moment in our life has a purpose. We’re not only meant to do one thing.

We don’t need to abandon our daydreams, and we don’t need to be ashamed of who we are. This obsession with being successful doesn’t need to rule our lives. We don’t need to succumb to being society’s version of an adult. Responsible and impeccable behavior at all times, we don’t need to be that person. We’re just people trying to find our place in this world. And maybe that’s all we should be.

Ekta Kumar


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