As a child I was desperate to grow up. Inquisitiveness and always feeling older than my years added to my desire. Many have told me that I have an “old soul”, but back then, I didn’t know what that meant. All I wanted was to be 16, wearing a pink dress and blowing out my birthday candles. I wanted to be graduating high school. I wanted to be kissing boys. I didn’t understand that with age came responsibility, and the potential for a world of pain I was protected from just then. I viewed being grown up as glamorous - a life filled with freedom, expensive clothes, and no one to answer to. I could eat candy and pizza all day and dance and smoke cigarettes by night.
As an adult, I can make my own decisions on where to go, I can eat whatever I choose, and I could smoke if I wanted to – which I don’t. But being an adult brings problems. Problems I never would have known then, fears I didn’t know I had.
When I was small, a dilemma involved asking, “which toy will I play with next?” or, “why is that kid mean to me?”. Now a dilemma may be, “which person will treat me as a toy and how will I pick up the pieces once I’ve let them and they’re done?” or, “how will I explain this spectacularly life-altering poor choice to my friends and family?”
Some days, I wish for the simplicity of being a child. But most days I wish that I hadn’t spent my childhood wishing and that I just enjoyed. In adulthood, I choose to enjoy. Every step, and every misstep.