15 Things We Didn’t Understand Until We Became Adults

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There are so, so many things that kids just can’t understand about being a grown up – like how not fun it is 90% of the time – until they hit a certain age and find themselves with more responsibilities than free time and more kids than money.

The 15 things below definitely make me nostalgic for the carefree days of my childhood.

#15. Lefts and rights.

The whole “my right vs. your right” thing confused the heck out of me as a preschooler.

I knew my own lefts and rights but when my mom was facing me and used to say “my right isn’t the same as your right” I learned to just do the opposite of what she looked like. Problem is this led to me thinking that the difference was because of AGE, so kids’ lefts and rights were the opposite of adults’ lefts and rights.

So somehow I got the idea in my head that when you turned 21 your lefts and rights switched (I have no clue why I specifically thought 21, I had this image in my head of blowing out 21 candles and everyone saying congratulations and you get some kind of certificate to officially switch them).

Well I’m 21 now and my lefts and rights never switched.

#14. Just double the Christmas presents.

That my parents couldn’t just double the presents this Christmas if I tell them it’s okay to not do anything for next Christmas.

#13. A dog and children.

The stress of paying bills and budgeting.

My parents tried to keep this hidden from me but I could tell how much they carefully budgeted.

They also sacrificed for us kids.

I didn’t get that until I had a dog first and then children.

#12. Value.

The value of all the s**t I trashed or broke.

#11. Some people are selfish jerks.

Not everyone is inclined to do the right thing.

Some people are selfish jerks and it sucks, but you just have to accept it and do what you believe is right.

There are a lot of awesome people out there too, and you can’t get too cynical about the world because of the s***ty people in it

#10. Not a given.

Vacations and breaks aren’t a given.

You don’t just get to stop working for a few weeks randomly throughout the year, and no one plans around your vacation – you must plan all of your own (and sometimes other people’s) work around your departures. Oh, and vacations are expensive. There’s probably a reason that Billy down the block’s family is able to take five people to Disneyworld: because they have money.

I’m a violin teacher now and blew this poor kid’s mind this past weekend when he asked me what I was doing for spring break. I sort of stared at him for a second, and then remembered that spring break is a thing that kids get…so I told him that I’m working because I don’t get a spring break and he was just completely aghast. Sorry buddy, the adult world isn’t as fun as being a kid.

#9. Such a pretty name.

I didn’t know what virginity was and my dad would say I would understand when I got older.

In the meantime, I thought it would make such a pretty name for a girl.

#8. Bills to pay.

my dad wasn’t a workaholic, we just had bills to pay.

#7. I really thought I’d need the karate chop.

I used to think that living beyond 24 was crazy and impossible.

I used to think you would grow up to be a particular person instead of a larger version of yourself. I genuinely thought I could become Prince.

I really thought I’d need the karate chop as a part of my adult life

#6. How to cherish the silence.

As a kid I thought if it was quiet it was boring and the worst possible thing.

Now I work in a library and cherish the silence more than anything.

#5. How seldom they do.

You wouldn’t care what people thought of you if you knew how seldom they think of you.

#4. Because they weren’t cool.

The Alanis Morissette lyric “You’re my best friend / best friend with benefits” from “Head Over Feet.”

I told my parents that my best friend was my best friend with benefits when I was like 8, and they laughed hysterically and I just assumed it’s because they weren’t cool and into Alanis’s music and didn’t understand that it clearly meant “super best friend.”

#3. Special phones with letters.

How to dial any phone number that was alphanumeric. 1-800-WAIT-WUT.

I thought adults had access to special phones with letters.

#2. New jokes every time.

Calvin and Hobbes jokes. Reread and there’s new jokes every time.

#1. The value of afternoon naps.

How grown-ups fall asleep after Sunday lunch, Christmas dinner, etc.

It was so boring as a kid but now I fully understand the value of afternoon naps in the sun after a roast dinner.

Youth is definitely wasted on the young, right?

Did any of these answers surprise you? Let us know in the comments!