Give Me a Break

I’ve come to realize I need a break from being a responsible adult.

I don’t mean a holiday, or a weekend, or even a vacation. Even on the rare occasion those roll around, I still have all the same concerns. I have to be aware of bills, rent, chores, work, school, family, and all the obligations that make up everyday life for a typical adult. It gets to be overwhelming after a while, and I’m getting to the point where I really believe I’ve earned a little distance from it all. I know this all sounds a lot like “first world problems”, but I’m acknowledging that even folks in other countries need this kind of break too, probably even more than I do.

I think back to a time (perhaps more recent than for some, but hey, I was a late bloomer) when I didn’t have so many concerns. I didn’t really appreciate then how good I had it. Even as recent as college (well, when I was a full-time college student, at any rate) I got winter and summer break, and hanging out with my friends all night at coffee shops and diners. We would talk and joke, discuss philosophy or the news of the day or even just make lewd and inappropriate jokes.

Before that was high school, when I could leave most of my real worries behind at the end of the day (the problems I created for myself were another matter entirely). I had acting and other hobbies that filled my time, and of course my constant flailing attempts to chase girls, which I will not describe in any detail in an attempt to preserve what little dignity I have left (and I will thank my friends and family to respect that decision).

Before high school was elementary school, when I didn’t even have homework, and every afternoon was a sweet release of cartoons and video games. Weekends were more of the same. I had my problems, to be sure, but they were problems of the moment, and the good times overall outweighed the bad.

Perhaps I’m looking at the past through rose-tinted glasses, which is of course the prerogative of nostalgia. I realize it’s an old refrain that “youth is wasted on the young”, and I certainly wouldn’t want to go back and have to live through all of it again, if nothing else because I was terrible at geometry. But I do wish there was some way to be relieved of my burdens of worry and woe for just a while, a chance to let my guard down for a time, stretch my shoulders before picking up the burden again. It’s not that life is bad, and I wouldn’t trade the life I have for someone else’s life, but I do yearn from time to time for a way to step back from it all.

Other than winning the lottery (and mo’ money, mo’ problems, am I right?) or retiring, is that something that ever happens? Or do I just have to accept that being an adult means, as 1 Corinthians 13:11 says, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways”?