As I’m writing this, my mind keeps on recalling the lyrics of Taylor Swift’s Never Grow Up, a song I used to constantly sing back when I was 17 years old. Back when I was literally living a hell of a life, back when I pushed myself through different types of crap shuffling in between getting myself kicked out of school, being a failure, being in denial of being a failure and questioning myself daily and excessively on which definition of a human being I was supposed to be.
God bless that golden age.
Growing up is a matter of perspective. Same goes for being childish. Each and every grown up should have a little child in them.
No, allow me to re-phrase that.
Each and every grown up should have, if not much, at least one thing, that brings out the child in them.
Search for it within yourself and give it a name. Does not matter if it’s an ice-cream, a balloon, video games, fairy tales, cartoons, old cards, a cup of hot Milo in the morning, a glass of milk at night, an old sketching from an early childhood, a photograph from your first trip to the pool, that report card from school that used to give you nags or rewards, the first storybook, that shy gorgeous boyish smile that seemed to hold the secrets of the Universe from your first love back in Primary 3, your first pet, that first Kad Raya you used to exchange with friends from class and a teeny-tiny 10sen attached in between the folds.
All those good times, sweet memories, layback moments, shrilling shouts, girly giggles before commitments and responsibilities came crashing in.
So, when was the first time I felt like a grown up?
I cannot answer that, not definitely.
Maybe on September last year when I first had a go at this ‘seems bloody exciting at first but not so much after a while‘ thing called work. Maybe for the past 2 weeks I spent without any weekends, concentrating on a seemingly endless task at the office. Maybe when I no longer have that privilege called time to catch up on TV series and Korean dramas, video games and even books. Maybe I pulled the panic cord maybe you were happy I was bored maybe I wanted you to change maybe I’m the one to blame (see what I did there).
Maybe when I started thinking in silent and out loud, about the future.
That endless, long winding list of the what ifs and the it would be great ifs.
Let’s just cut this morbid crap and admit that I am in denial of growing up and growing old. I think everyone is. At some points in your life, you just wished that time would stop and you would stay that way forever. Stay at the age where heartbreaks, sadness, stress and discrimination have not even existed yet in your dictionary of life.
But then again, one of the many things that always reminds to never forgetting being a child is Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. The book have taught me sooo much about the feelings I’ve forgotten as I grew up to be who I am today. That child-like curiosity about almost everything and how a child will never let anything stand in his way of achieving what he wants even if he understands nothing. And to put his heart in everything, because:
And for that, he’ll make a wonderful grown up.
CR: The Trial by Franz Kafka, pg 53/182.