Growing Up

23 Nov

You imagine the good old days when you’ll be older and you wish time could hurry up and fast forward.

The day when you won’t have your toys taken away and replaced with a mat as the adults force you to take a nap you really don’t want.

The day when spelling out words above your head in whispers won’t be enough to prevent you from understanding what’s going on.

The day when you’ll get allowance just like your older brothers and sisters and you’ll be able to secretly hide stashes of junk food between piles of shirts in dresser drawers.

You think the horrors will never end but of course time passes and things change, just like they always do.

You find yourself a teenager, somewhere in the middle, not quite at either end.

And then suddenly you wish for the never-arriving day when the teacher will offer up a mat to replace those horrible seven-ton textbooks, and even for a toy or two to play with since nowadays if anyone saw you playing with dolls you’d never hear the end of it.

And no one needs to spell anything out because they’ve gained the courage to say it to your face since you’re tiny enough to not be considered a threat.

And those glory days of having your own money to spend turn out to be not that magical after all because no one ever told you that junk food makes you gain weight and ruins your skin and anyway – mom and dad told you last night that it’s about time you started earning your own money.

This time you swear things will never ever get better and there’s no point even trying but time never fails to surprise you and pushes on.

This time you’re all grown up and you’re finally free from all of those teachers and parents and evil playground bullies.

But now you don’t even have teachers to help you and no money for toys or time to sleep.

People don’t bully you anymore – they can just ignore you instead. Or never returns calls. Or never invite you to parties down the hall from your dorm room. They can even decide that being rude is their talent and find some title to it and then a desk to sit behind while they spend all day pretending to help you but actually just wasting your time and money and not giving a damn.

Even the allowance isn’t useful anymore because now it doesn’t exist and you have to find a job and by the time you’ve earned something it’s time to pay the bills and rent and college tuition and you’re so poor you end up surviving on junk food until the taste of bad chips and flat soda is so strong in your mouth no amount of mint toothpaste can get rid of it.

And all that is left is to remember the good old days when you were younger and to wish time could slow down and rewind.

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