Why Growing Up May Mean Caring Less
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Life Stages

Growing Up Sometimes Means Learning To Care Less

In terms of quantity, not quality.

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The article title may seem striking at first glance. Adulthood equates responsibility and maturity- why would I say we should care less? Well, think back to your childhood. Every moment felt so permanent and so powerful. That's why children cry so hard, even if they're just crying over candy. It's also the same thought process behind jumping for joy at the smallest bit of happiness, like warm laundry or a hearing a good song.

This childhood "live in the moment" philosophy can still benefit us now when we try to be present to our lives, but it is not sustainable. We learned this in high school. During these years, there is so much to care about. There are standardized tests to freak out about, drama to learn, celebrity crushes to gush about, jobs hunts to embark on, and so much more. In high school, everything felt magnified. We didn't feel like we were being dramatic if we sulked over not getting an invite to that party, or having a boss critique you. We had no frame of reference, no real wealth of experiences, so it was easy to freak out.

Growing up means learning to let go of the little things and not let them impact of emotionally. Growing up means learning to prioritize yourself, even if this means you have to skip a social engagement to get enough sleep, or hit the gym. Growing up means that petty drama no longer has space in your life. It has been replaced with less-than-ideal things such as taxes, grief and general "adulting", but it has also been filled with wonderful things. You now have a clearer sense of self, lofty goals, more drive to achieve them and meaningful relationships that have stood the test of time.

So now we know not to freak out if we can't pick up the extra hours at the part-time job (because of say, school) even if our boss may be annoyed. Now, instead of telling ourselves people will forget that time we tripped in the hallway, we might forget it ourselves an hour later. By caring less about the little things, we open space to care deeply about the things that truly do matter: family, friends, vocation and a life well lived.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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