Caitlin Rickard: Growing up is hard thing to do

I’ve got some good and some bad news.
Jul 30, 2014
Caitlin Rickard

“There comes a point in your life when you’re officially an adult. Suddenly, you’re old enough to vote, drink, and engage in other adult activities. Suddenly, people expect you to be responsible, serious, a grown up.  We get taller, we get older, but do we ever really grow up? In some ways we grow up. We have families, we get married, divorced, but for the most part, we still have the same problems that we did when we were fifteen. No matter how much we grow taller, grow older, we are still forever stumbling, forever wondering, forever young.” 

– Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anatomy

I’ve got some good and some bad news.

The good news is that I’m back from vacation. The bad news is that this is my last week at The Democrat as I’ve chosen to move back home to good ol’ Alabama for the time being.

I know, I’m know, dry your eyes, it’ll be OK… though it’s doubtful anyone will be able to supply Wilson County with such enthralling and informative entertainment and pop culture musings. For that, I am truly sorry.

But that’s life, right? Growing up and moving on is all a part of it.

Anyway, the point is growing up sucks. Moreover, the complications and intricacies that comes with adulthood sucks.

I get that we’re all going to age and things are going to change and yada, yada, the inevitability of it all, but what really sucks, what really, really sucks, is the responsibilities that come with growing up, the little details in it all. 

And I mean the stupid responsibilities—tasks, duties and obligations, really—that everyone has to hate, things that we as humans were programmed to reject, which, as I prepare to trek back home, I’m going through all at once now.
Let’s see, there’s moving. Whether you’re excited about where you’re going or not, let’s all admit the actual process is horrid. It’s hot or it’s rainy, there’s always 900 flights of stairs to wear a walking path into, there’s the process of separating what goes into storage from your necessities, wrapping up glassware, cleaning in general, banging up your hands (and the furniture) up and down walls, your whole family is arguing, I mean should I keep going?

Then there’s bills. I can stand to pay them on time without missing a date, and I’m responsible enough to (somehow) manage to keep enough loot in my bank account to always cover my costs. But what I can’t stand is the process of turning off your utilities and switching addresses and paying prorated fees, and dealing with customer service, etc. Blah.

Which brings me to my final thought, so I beg the question, are customer service representatives water boarded every morning? Is there a special reason I can never just get a straight answer or pay a flat fee and be done? Why must I talk to a machine, followed by elevator music for an hour before I can even get a living, breathing human? And then after being on hold for an hour it never fails the person I get talks too fast or too quiet or has an accent and I always, always get cut off and have to call back and start all over again. SOS please someone help me. Why can’t I just cancel my subscriptions online like a normal 21st Century civilian? I can’t be the only one who has this issue; surely this process could be improved in some way.

Really, what sucks about all of these things is there’s no fun to be had and you don’t have your friends to go with you or your parents to do them for you anymore, it’s yours to now take care of somehow, not put off three weeks like your Psychology 101 final project.

Confession: my parents will still be helping me move, and I did make my mom help on some of the customer service calls, I admit it. Dependency, re: laziness, rules.

Gone are the days when going to school with all of your friends for a few hours five days a week, with summers and holidays off, were hard work and unbearable.

In all honesty, the responsibilities, growing up, I guess none of it is truly unbearable; it’s just not fun, not the kind of fun we wish to fill our days with at least. And I just want everything to be fun and unserious forever. Immaturity rules. 

But… I guess so does maturity come to think of it, and the freedom and trust and even the ambiguity that comes with it. 

I’m learning that just because we grow up doesn’t mean things have to get harder or less fun or more serious, we just finally have to take the wheel in our own lives and decide for ourselves which way to steer. And we have to, like, pump our own gas. You know, because, as we grow up and mature our dads won’t always be there to do it for us (but when they are, take advantage, obviously).

Meredith Grey was right, she always is.

So, now that all the hard little nitty gritty duties are taken care of I can somewhat relax a little in my final week in Lebanon, that is, before Friday when I have to unpack it all, and the process starts over. Wah-wah.

Then the real fun begins, plotting my next move and starting yet another dreadful grown-up task: looking for a new job.

Caitlin Rickard is a staff writer for The Democrat until Thursday. Email her at


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