Day 10 – Growing Up

Photo Credit: Quang Nguyen Vinh

One day you’ll wake up and realize that there is more weight on your shoulders than they ever told you there’d be. If you’re someone like me you’ll grin and bear it for a while. You’ll walk around in the world lonelier than a man who’s six feet under, surrounded by people who love you, but don’t know how to love you. You’ll feel okay for a while, under this weight, accepting that being alive comes with a whole hell of a lot of responsibilities that you never asked for. Some nights you’ll pray that the burden was just a little bit less, just a little bit lighter, and then maybe you’d be able to walk a little taller, with a little bit more confidence. Days go by, and then weeks go by with your prayers going unanswered.

Maybe you’ll cry and throw your fists up at the sky in frustration with the unfairness of it all. You can’t help being born the way you are, no matter how hard you try to change into the person the world says you need to be, you just can’t. It’s impossible. It’ll feel better for a little while, after you get that off your chest, but the uncertainties will start creeping back in and you’ll start to feel the weight again, and you’ll realize that this isn’t the way you want to live.

Being an adult, you’ll find, is more like being a misunderstood child in a grown person’s body. A lot of us never really grew up, you see. A lot of us had to overcompensate for what we missed out on in our childhoods; playing games like children do in these big bodies, waiting for someone to see that we’re just crying out for attention, a hug, someone to pat our heads and tell us everything’s going to be alright. The thing I learned is that if we want that, we have to be that, but most of us are too caught up in our own problems or are too afraid or too ashamed, and it ends up being a shame that we can’t help each other.

I’m telling you all of this because you don’t have to wake up and realize this, you have the ability to change this world that you live in if you want to. You can be the kind ear or safe place, if you want to be. You have to be okay with looking beyond your troubles and struggles and see that everyone is troubled and struggling. I hope you do that, when you grow up. Remember what I’m telling you now and find a way to make peace with this world. 

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