Children are always watching their parents. I remember watching my dad as he watched the nightly news on TV. I would sit there and think, “Why would you watch the news when you could watch cartoons? When I’m an adult, I’m going to stay up late and watch cartoons.”

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That was many moons ago. The older I get, the more I look back at my past self and realize how immature I was (I Cor. 13:11). But I’ve never thought that I was immature; it’s always past Brian that was immature. Of course, a few years later, I realize that what I thought was mature was still young and immature (this time I really am mature though!).

The same goes with “old”. There’s a direct correlation between my age and my definition of “old”. I remember in grade school thinking high schoolers were old. Now I lump high schoolers in to the “kids” designation. The same cycle with college students and college graduates. Now my definition of old is “has grandchildren”, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be changing that definition eventually.

I assume that this cycle continues your whole life. You never feel old, but you always feel mature. You never feel like you know exactly what to do next. And yet, somewhere along the way you become an adult, though there’s not a day where you wake up and think, “Now I’m an adult.”

When I was planning my last vacation, I stopped and thought, “This is something my parents did. When they were my age. My parents were just like me.” And it hit me: adults just make it up as they go along. Nobody knows exactly what to do next; everyone gives it their best shot, but nobody knows. And you might never feel like an adult: because you thought adults were so different from you, you expected to feel differently when it happened to you. But you won’t. Everyone is just making it up as they go along.

But I am an adult. I make decisions. I plan vacations. I’m responsible for people other than myself. I can choose whether to watch the news or cartoons. And now that I’ve reached that point, now that I am an adult, now that I can choose…I stay up late and watch cartoons. Because why would you watch the news when you could watch cartoons? 😉

Apparently this is known as the end-of-history illusion.