Tackling life as a twenty-something is simultaneously empowering and intimidating. There are days we feel like we’re on top of the world, and days we feel like we’re falling off of it…but that’s what makes the twenties so exciting, right? Personally, I’m enjoying being in my twenties, and the surge of independence that comes with this decade truly excites me.
But sometimes, I’d kill to be five again.
There are days where I find myself wishing I could crawl back to the year 2000, if only for a day, so I could appreciate all that I took for granted at that golden age. Here are five things I miss the most about being five:
Getting More Sleep
I love sleep — like, a lot. Unfortunately, I’m not always able to get as much shuteye as I’d like; I’m too busy! When I was five years old, I was actually encouraged to stop whatever I was doing to take a nap during the day. Not only that, I was also able to call it a night and head to bed way earlier than I do now. There were no last minute assignments or errands or parties to keep me from getting my beauty sleep…and to think my younger self actually fought going to bed (what was I thinking?!). Nowadays, I would kill to have someone telling me to take a snooze break every day and to have the ability to get my full eight hours every evening. That would be a dream.
As a five-year-old, I had not a care in the world. All of the responsibility of adulthood had not yet filled my naïve little brain, and I had zero stress in my life. Grocery shopping was more of a field trip than a struggle to maintain a budget. In fact, I had absolutely no concept of money, and the single dollar I earned from the tooth fairy felt like a fortune. My appearance was modeled after a mantra of “anything goes”, since I looked cute no matter what — cue sparkly jelly shoes, butterfly hair clips, and tank tops with the Powerpuff Girls on them. Today, it’s not so easy. The multiple stresses and responsibilities of being in my twenties often make me wish I had the luxury of being completely carefree again.
Having Summers Off (For Real)
Everyone looks forward to the summer, but let’s face it — a summer in your twenties is nowhere near as ideal as summer when you’re five. As a kid, my summer was a vacation spanning three months filled with sleeping in, countless hours at the pool, neighborhood games of kickball, and riding my bike with a Capri Sun in hand (I was a rebel). I was constantly slathered in sunscreen and my tongue was almost always stained red from a cherry-flavored popsicle. As a twenty-something, my summer entails finishing up finals, packing up my life and transporting it to a different state, securing a summer job, and taking off just one week for a trip to the beach. Not the worst thing in the world, but not really as great as the summers of my childhood.
Facing Simpler Problems
When I was five years old, I had my share of problems. For instance, I would sometimes have scary dreams, often scraped my knees, and one day, I lost one of my favorite earrings at recess. Now, at twenty years old, I still have problems I have to deal with, only now they involve obtaining a college degree while trying to plan for my future and save money, on top of maintaining relationships with my family and friends, all while trying to do what makes me happy. As a kid, I thought everything was the end of the world, but it wasn’t — my nightmares never came true, my scraped knees always healed, and I actually found my gold hoop earring on my school’s playground. Now, I’d take my five-year-old problems over my newfound adult struggles any day.
Having So Much Time Ahead of Me
I think what I miss most about being five years old is knowing I had my whole life ahead of me. At five, high schoolers seemed like adults, college was, like, a million years away, and I wasn’t even thinking about paying bills, having a job, getting married, or being a “grown-up.” Fifteen years later, I’m totally swamped (and sometimes overwhelmed) by the fact that my childhood is over, and it’s time for me to grow up for real. I no longer have so much time before I’m an adult…I am an adult. While I do sometimes miss the lifestyle I lived when I was five, I know my childhood was merely the foundation upon which to build the rest of my life. And while there are days when I’d love to sit at the breakfast table with a bowl of Lucky Charms and dream about being an adult, I’m way more excited by the reality of being an adult, and finally living a life that five-year-old me would find totally sweet.