Growing Up


     With my 18th birthday fast approaching I'm beginning to wonder about the whole growing up thing.  Personally, I believe it's overrated.  As I'm beginning to involuntarily, well, at least I prefer to think of it that way, mature I'm starting to question if it's such a good idea.  I mean, why do we only get the allotted 18 years to consider our childhood?  I feel now that there was so much more I would have liked to do, or that I would have liked to start earlier.  There was so much time that I squandered.  I don't think I'm cut out for the whole mature adult thing.  In fact, I'd probably be perfectly happy if I stayed forever at age 13 or 14.  Was there anything that was honestly so terribly wrong with that period of life?

     I'll admit, part of it is fear.  I'm scared of being considered an adult.  I don't really know what's expected of me.  How can the expectations put on a person by friends, family, government, and society change so drastically overnight?  From what my peers have said, they haven't really noticed a change.  There was no real defining moment for reaching adulthood.  Sure, they technically become one the day of their 18th birthday, but nothing truly felt different on the all-important date.

     Will I be expected to behave as a stuffy adult does?  Will I be expected to hold in everything I feel unless called upon by society to share it as a number in a statistic?  I'm afraid of growing up.  What will become of my childish innocence, naivety, and demeanor?  Am I expected to have those just disappear as well?  I want to keep my happy-go-lucky, zest-for-life, live-for-the-moment attitude.  I want to be able to run to Mommy and sit on her lap and cry if I need to.  I want to be able to burst out laughing when something seems funny.  I want to be able to still fear things.  I want to live life, not just exist in it.  I don't want to have to give any of this up.  I don't want to be looked down on for being human.

     People say that children have some of the deepest emotions found in mankind.  That is not true, children are simply allowed and encouraged to express them.  Children are expected to cry, laugh and scream.  Society allows a child to be the person they were born as.  Society demands of adults that they all conform to the same mold.  People aren't rings of coins that can be cast to all fit the same form.  We are all different, and it is our differences that keep us united.  There would be no harmony if everyone sang the same note.

     I am a person, same as everyone else.  I am a member to this society and this humanity.  I have been given those blessed 18 years of childhood and going through them I spent each day in the best way I knew how.  Now, as my new adulthood looms, and all of its new expectations with it, I intend to apply those lessons I learned in childhood to my new adult life.  I will keep a child's heart, but will not hang on so tight to it so as to keep me from learning mew lessons offered in adulthood.  I will laugh and cry and scream as the occasion calls for it.  I will keep my zest for life.  I will still make some spontaneous decisions.  I will live each and every day in the best way I know how.  Yes, I am afraid of growing up, but will meet it head-on and weave my way through the music and find harmony.

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