It’s the oldest story in the world. One day, you’re 17 and you’re planning for someday. And then quietly, without you ever really noticing, that someday is today. And then that someday is yesterday. And this is your life. That time has to come, when we wake up and realize that we have passed the age of childhood, that we are not children anymore, that we are left with no choice but to relive the moments of our childhood and cherish them only through imagination. Maybe that time comes when we graduate elementary school, or high school, or lose friends, or start to worry about time, money or death. Whatever and whenever it is, we do grow up.
We experience the time when our carelessness is labeled pathetic and unreasonable, it is described as unduly childish, and it is tagged immature. That is the time when our innocence disappears, and we realize that now we have to leave the ‘childish’ preferences and qualities behind and start an intellectual and rational life.
It is crazy that as children, we are so impatient to grow up, to step out into the world. But when that time comes, when those opportunities knock on our doors, we want to stay where we are. Growing up is by no means a bad thing. It takes courage to grow up and transform yourself into what you really are, your actual self. But the process of growing up is emotionally painful. When we go through this process, we understand that life was never easy, not even then when our single grimace melted our mother’s heart and was the key to getting what we wanted. We understand that growing up is just losing some illusions in order to acquire others. Growing up is learning to face inconveniences. Growing up is leaving our childhood behind, to fret about the future. Growing up is learning to accept the truths our younger selves denied. Growing up is discovering that there indeed are people who are determined to do nothing positive with their lives. We dreamed of growing up as children, as we gazed onto the ceilings of our rooms and thought of all the marvelous things we would do when we were older. But later we realize that reality often contends with our childhood envisions of growing up. We find that the things that we really so desperately want are our childhood dreams and innocence, but the harsh reality is that those are the things that will never return.
Reminiscing the memories and gazing longingly at our childhood memorabilia are the only things we can do, now. Growing up, without any doubt, is hard work. Because the path to maturity has no end, it’s wise to focus on journeying well. With growing up, decisions emerge. Replacement of fallacy with fact occurs. We learn to resist too-good-to-be-true illusions in order to prevent facing too-horrible-to-endure outcomes. And growing up is an inevitable stage of our lives. In return of this pain, we get the wisdom and ability to live with for the rest of our lives.
By Razzan Sehar
Angels International College