Growing up into a regular douchebag.

by Nic Olson

I was recently told to ‘grow the fuck up.’ It was an internet voice that suggested this to me, however the tone of the phrase, lacking capitalization and proper grammar, was quite scathing. Along with personal attacks on the low readership and comment tally on my blog, I was truly taken aback and offended. The internet, after all, is where anyone can write whatever they want about anything, and then be forced to write a formal apology via Twitter. God bless it.

Since writing a chapter about growing up for ‘To Call Them To Wander‘ several years ago, I have discovered nothing new. Still I do not see the appeal or necessity of such an action, nor do I believe that having more people ‘grown up’ in our world will be what pulls us from the muck. I have a hard time thinking otherwise; the people who tell you to grow up must just be the ones who hold contempt for those that enjoy life. Growing up to them, I can only guess, means being able to accept a governmental shit storm in stride, to amass incredible debt with the accumulation of objects, and to not speak about something you believe in.

Reprimands aside, I am statistically part of that age group where people are expected to begin their ascent into maturity and adulthood. That quarter-century mark, which I have yet to reach, hits people as if it were the tender hand of Mother Nature slowly ushering them towards erectile dysfunction or menopause. And it strikes fear. It incites comparisons with our parents based on calendars. It triggers worry about priorities and education and careers. And all because we have been told since we were old enough to be in school, that growing up is good, inevitable, and essential, but we weren’t told what it meant to grow up, nor what the point would even be. Every culture has indicators of adulthood. Rites of passage. Ours must be internet related. Either that or the loss of passion and the acceptance of apathy.

Responsibility is inevitable with age, and is an admirable thing to take on. Homeownership, marriage, planting a garden, buying a dog, or painting interior walls can be considered commendable things (with the exception of painting walls, in my opinion) that symbolize adulthood. The not-so-admirable parts of growing up—the close-mindedness, the sloth, the justification, however, seem to root deeper by the birthday. And it is these that I plan to leave aside, that is, if I could ever be considered a ‘grown up.’

I was also recently called a ‘douchebag,’ a word commonly reserved for males that seemingly lack brains. Again, internet name-calling that I likely deserved for encouraging people to put dog shit in newspaper bins and being another opinionated ass-clown with a blog. Based on recent internet advice, I best grow up into a man that is comfortable calling strangers names through the guise of the internet. It’s the only thing I can think to do. Nay, it is the only thing a true adult would do.

I am twenty-three and three-quarter years old.