Friday, January 6, 2012
Growing up before everyone else
When you grow up before everyone else, you isolate yourself from the world. You take the things you know and the things you don't know, and you put them on an organized chart to identify yourself. The world becomes a mysterious and foreign place. With each difficult decision you make, you go deeper into that void of maturity and you become more and more strange to the people your age. It's a sad truth that we avoid what we don't understand, and we don't deal with things if we can avoid it. I knew that, even as I tried to ignore the giant rift that passed between me and others. I knew that even as I managed to pass for a Middle Schooler, High Schooler and eventually a College kid. But there are days where I don't feel young. Days I expect myself to creak loudly as I walk, or muse at the people passing me by like an elderly person absorbed in her neighbor's life instead of creating her own.
Growing up is difficult, and some people do get to choose when they grow up, but some don't. Some have to grow up because it is the only way for them to survive. And once they realize that they have grown up, it is a mystery how they will ever relate to other people who haven't.
Growing up is growing old, wise beyond your years. Watching other people live carefree and wonder what it's like to not have responsibilities. Growing up involves priorities that rarely include yourself. It is a decision that every person makes in their life, without realizing it. It doesn't happen in a day, week or month. Sometimes you grow up in a single moment. Other times involve a journey of small sacrifices until you lead up to your big decision. Growing up is a mystery. It cannot be defined simply or elegantly on a piece of paper. It cannot have specific emotions dedicated to it. Sometimes it makes you bitter and cold. Other times you become an understanding and caring person who can help someone in need. Each little decision grows with you and becomes etched in your way of life. It is a strange phenomenon. At times it is a phenomenon that you regret.
It is so much easier to whine, cry, scream and throw things when you don't want to deal with life. But it is not rational. It doesn't solve anything, and it can often make a situation worse. This is the difference between thinking you are a kid and actually being a kid. Growing up is painful. It is an unpleasant experience for everyone who prefers to stay locked in a cocoon or living a lie. There are levels of growing up too.
The more difficult the decision you make, the more you grow up. And the faster you grow up from those around you, the lonelier the road is. You lose people, you lose indulgences. You begin to understand others more than yourself, and then you are a fly caught in the net of maturity.