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Growing Up

Every now and then, I think back to the days when I was small and fragile.

Me in grade school with some neighborhood friends. 

Every now and then, I think back to the days when I was small and fragile. I didn't have a care in the world. I could jump off of the garage roof, into the sandbox, and all would be okay. That was just the silly, adolescent way a seven-year-old boy's mind worked. Funny how my biggest concern growing up was my friends mum coming to get them after one of the most fun times hanging out after school (every single time).

Now I know everyone remembers doing this. Gets to be about 5:30/6:00, you're just finishing up another round of video games, playing dress up, whiffle ball, or even just an exciting hide and seek. And then you hear it. The car door shut. It's your friends mum, there for the pick up that EVERYONE dreaded. Not like you wouldn't see them in a few hours the next day at school anyway, but you just didn't want the good times to end NOW. So in this scenario you only have one solution, and what did you do? "Quick! Hide in the closet! If they can't find you, then you won't have to go home!" So simple. Our minds just worked that way and all was well.

At that age, everything was simple. I wanted to stay out late and hang out with my friends. I wanted to travel. I didn't want a bedtime. And I'd always just say "I can't wait to grow up." Why? Why would we take for granted all of the simpler times? Soaking in everything around us, experiencing life and getting to learn from everything and shape ourselves into functioning humans of society. Instead, we're shaping our minds to just let it be until we are old and can't learn as well as those young, open minds we used to have.

Who knew that upon growing up, yes you can stay out late with your friends, but you'll be dead tired tomorrow. Yes, you don't have a bedtime. But damn it all, you might as well have one now with work the next day. And sure, you can travel the world, but you're fucking broke and can barely afford food for the next week. Let alone a thousand dollar backpacking trip that you've been planning for years and can only dream about now.

It's so crazy to think that we'd say this whenever something didn't exactly go our way because we were young. But DAMN did we eat those words. We ate them with the smallest spoon and took every bite like it was the last meal we'd ever receive. Bills, debt, transportation, insurance for EVERYTHING that you could possibly think of, food, clothing, housing, school, work. You can't buy a car without a job, but you can't get a job without transportation, and you can't get a job without experience, but you can't get experience without a job. It's a vicious cycle. A tornado sucking in everything in its path. And you've been standing in the middle of the road, watching. Waiting, with this warped vision that this tornado is actually this fun, joyful ride. That life ahead will be prosperous and amazing. Why the HELL did we want to get old? You know, I said over and over again how I can't wait to be this fun-loving, successful, cool adult. I can't wait to grow up. Well now that I'm grown up, I just wish I was a kid again. Small and fragile. Without a care in the world.