Hey there everybody! My name is Ryan Atkinson and I’m a Non-Grown Up.
So what is a Grown Up? Well obviously if you’re here, you’ve at least heard that there’s really no such thing. Grown up is a made up concept concocted by the man to keep people down. Maybe it wasn’t intended as that but that’s what has happened.
I’ve done some looking around through a handful of websites searching just what makes a person a Grown Up and here are a few very common examples of what I’ve found (paraphrased of course):
Get a job
Listen to all older adults
Worry about future you, to hell with you right now
Don’t follow your emotions
A surprising amount of “Accept you will die” (Not all that bad I suppose but still surprising to see it so frequently)
Quit having expectations.
Be an all around dickhead to everyone all the time.
There are tons more these are just common ones I’ve found on more than one site.
To be a Non-Grown Up is pretty simple. Just be you. Want to write about people with super powers or draw pictures of dragons and fairies? Want to make industrial furniture? Maybe you want to open a zoo. Want to be a firefighter? Friggin do it. Do what makes you happy as often as you can. Do it SO much that you get damn good at it and make your living with it. Don’t let yourself get stuck at some bullshit job you hate that’s making you miserable just because someone else who is pretending to be a grown up told you that you have to do it to be successful.
You might not get rich in the wallet and hell, you friggin well might. But you’ll for sure be rich in spirit. You know what successful really is? It’s not going to the bank and having a million dollars waiting there for you. It’s not having a 12 bedroom house and a guest house and 5 cars and a cottage and a boat. All successful is, is being happy. When you put your head down at the end of the day even if you’re in a small studio apartment with a leaky faucet and you’ve got a smile on your face, you’re successful.
And not to say a 12 bedroom house and a million bucks just sitting there in your bank account wouldn’t be bad ass. It’s just not necessary.
Happiness is the most important thing in the world and don’t let anyone tell you any different. Now understandably we all have bills. Some of which we shouldn’t have (but I’ll save that for another day) but bills nonetheless. Jobs are one thing. If you flip burgers, flip the literal shit out of those burgers. Scoop popcorn like me? You damn well better scoop the hell out of it. Make the best of it and when you aren’t doing the grind to make sure the power stays on, hone your craft and then jump into it feet first. AND DREAM DAMMIT, DREAM. Don’t let anyone tell you that your dream is stupid. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. Unless it’s something like.. “I want to walk barefoot on that lava and not get burnt”. Well.. Sorry but you can’t do that. I mean.. You probably can DO it but you’ll get burnt before your foot touches down. I think you need a nap.
But it’s not always that easy is it? So many people have fallen into the guise of needing to “Act your age” that people have forgotten about happiness. We grow up in a society where from the day we get pooped out we’re told what to do and what not to do. What we can and what we can’t. What we should and what we shouldn’t.
To be fair, there are some things that we should and shouldn’t do. Do be nice to people, it costs you nothing. Don’t murder or rape people, that’s bad. Do feed your dog, he can’t open the can on his own.
But unfortunately it’s not that simple. Instead of just the common sense things that deep down most people know to do or not to do, we’re told ridiculous things. Don’t daydream. Don’t colour that zebra yellow. Don’t waste your time writing that story. Get off the counter.
One of my favourite book series in high school was the Cirque Du Freak series by Darren Shan. Its about a young half vampire (Named Darren Shan.. Good one Darren) and the shenanigans that ensue. It’s geared for young adults but it’s young adult horror, not young adult romance. Its more what vampires should be. But I’m getting off track, the reason I brought it up is because they made a very okay movie out of the first three books in the series called Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant and they paraphrased some dialogue in the book for the movie and it fits the Grown Up mentality to a T.
Darren got into some trouble in school with his best friend Steve for throwing some rocks and putting out a light. He obviously gets suspended for it (Now to be fair, Darren busted school property, he should have gotten suspended. That’s one of those common sense things. Don’t break other people’s shit) . He goes home and his old man is furious. Darren’s dad screams some stuff about what a disappointment he is being and that he won’t amount to anything being like that and says to him
“College, job, family. COLLEGE, JOB, FAMILY!! IT’S NOT THAT HARD!!”
Sound familiar? Maybe not those three exact things. Maybe not your dad, maybe it was your mom, your grandfather, a school teacher, your soccer coach. Chances are a good chunk of people have heard something along those lines from someone in their life.
And I know for a fact that some people haven’t and that is so amazing. If I ever have kids one thing I’ll never do is tell them that their dream is stupid.
Take me for example. I’m in the process of putting out my first comic book. Someone in my life, that one would hope would be encouraging, has told me from day one and pretty much once a week since that I’m wasting my time. The reason they keep saying that? I won’t make much money, so it’s a waste of time. That’s correct in one aspect I suppose. I don’t expect to make any money on it. I’ll most likely lose some money on it.
But let’s break this down, shall we?
I thought up an idea one day. I wrote that idea down. I re-wrote it again and again until I decided that the idea was up to par. I showed it to some people and they gave some tips and pointers on what they think would make it better. A friend I knew from high school who probably had better things to do took the time to do up some quick concept artwork for me free of charge. I then opened a Twitter account for my book with JUST that concept artwork to show and quickly gained hundreds of followers. Then I decided because of that amount of followers to see if some people would be interested in doing some pinup artwork for me to just be featured in the book, I had no money to pay for anything and I made that clear to anyone who wanted to submit before they did any work but I found some amazing artists who were just happy to contribute. And things just took off from there. The plan is to have everything released for next year’s East Coast Comic Expo. I met some really good friends because of this thing, people I would have never met otherwise. I get to write reviews and articles for this very website because of my stupid idea. Tara approached me at last years ECCE and got me to do a Day In The Life Of An Artist article and we kept in touch very slightly on Facebook and one day I mentioned that I’d be interested in something like this and it happened almost that same day. I get to see something I thought up in my head made REAL and that’s worth every cent I put into this, every hour I spend on it a billion times over.
Now that all being said. I understand Grown Ups. We get brought up thinking we’re supposed to be something and when we don’t quite get there, we seemingly become the failures we’ve been warned against being since forever.
Grown Ups might not be real but Grown Up problems are.
I’ve had my fair share of shitty days. I’ve got a pretty bad anxiety problem too.
It’s so bad that I’ve made sure my dad has a special code ring for my door bell so I know when it’s him when he comes over and not to ignore the ringing. I stand at my apartment door listening for anyone in the hallway before I leave so I don’t have to speak to anyone in my building. I always use the self checkouts at stores when they have them and unless it’s something I just HAVE to have, if I find something that’s 50% off that I kinda want I’ll just leave it there on the shelf if the want or need to have it is outweighed by the fear of having to call over the self checkout attendant so they can ring it in.
These articles and reviews? Man I’m surprised I was able to do the first Day In The Life article. All these people reading stuff that I wrote that isn’t fiction, it’s my thoughts and feelings about a particular piece of work that is completely arguable and only my personal opinion. What if my personal opinion offends the creators? I’ve been fortunate enough that most of the creators that have reached out for me to review their stuff have had things that I really enjoy, but there’s one that I am hesitant to do a review for because the creator is a super nice guy from our emails anyway, what if I hurt his feelings because I don’t like his book? Sheesh..
And the WORST as of late is my building is getting Bell FiberOp put in. I didn’t sign up for it but my landlord is getting the cables installed in the whole building so I recieved a letter of notice slipped under my door that either on on November 5th or November 6th between 9am-5pm on either day a technician would be in to install the cables. Being told they were coming was bad enough but to be so vague? Sheesh.. So that Wednesday night I stayed up all night to make sure I was awake for 9 and didn’t oversleep to make sure that I actually let them in, so that they didn’t knock and me be asleep and not answer so they just walk right in. They didn’t show up on the 5th. So I went to sleep at about 6pm Thursday the 5th and woke up at about 2am Friday the 6th. They showed up around 3pm-ish. They were only here for about 10 minutes so I didn’t scream in my head for very long at least but the kicker? “All right we’ll be back next week to finish up”.
What happened to between 9-5 on either the 5th or 6th?
Why couldn’t you put on the wall plate today instead of just pulling the wire through the wall? Will it be you or will another technician be working then? Why did you take your boots off, I put towels down for you.
So I got another notice slipped under my door a couple days ago that they’ll be back either on Tuesday the 10th or Thursday the 12th, between 9-5 both days. The gap because the Wednesday in there is Rememberance Day so they don’t have to work. So I repeated the staying up all night Monday so I know I’ll be awake on time Tuesday, staying home all day instead of going out at all to make sure they don’t come in when I’m not home and they didn’t even show up. So now with the gap in between I’ll be up all night tonight (It’s Wednesday as I’m writing this) to make sure that I’m around tomorrow when they show up.
Another thing that I do is ignore or avoid people that I really have no reason to. Tara and Curtis run this website. I only speak to Tara. I’ve met Tara in person and I’ve spoke to only her about anything at all to do with articles or approvals or anything at all. No reason why I don’t speak with Curtis other than he’s sort of new. I’m sure I would enjoy speaking with him as much as I do with Tara. But new people? No fanks.
Oh! And the extent of my online dating “game” is messaging first with a “Hey There! :)”. So if that peaks your interest… Ladies 😉
Jeez I’m a mess.
Sorry about that hahahaha
My point is though, I have those stupid problems. Listening through my door? Ridiculous. But I’m being me.
Don’t be a Grown Up because Grown Ups don’t really exist. Adults do, you should be an adult (once you’re an adult). But just be you. Live your life how you want it, let everyone else live the lives that they want. If listening through your apartment door so you don’t have to talk to Linda (even though she’s a very nice old lady who even gives you free Russel Stover mini boxes of chocolate every now and then) makes your life easier, go for it. Do whatever makes you, you (as long as it doesn’t hurt others of course).
Be as silly as you want to be. Get all those tattoos, cut your hair how you want, dress up in costumes. Matching socks? Who has time for that nonsense? Just be your version of you, not the version people want you to be.
I’m fat, I like comic books, good movies, bad movies and Doctor Who. I like to stay by myself all the time except when I don’t want to be. I talk like cartoon characters to myself, I write stories. I work at a movie theater and I have probably way too many posters on my living room wall. I’ve got a bunch of tattoos, my eyes are blue, I write reviews for No Such Thing As Grown Ups. I like punk music and I like the blues. Jazz and others are also good too. I hate doing my dishes. Heights scare me but not as much as people. I look like an idiot in my high school grad photo.
I’m an adult.
I’m a Non-Grown Up.