Growing Up

I remember when my biggest fear was having one of my crayons break in two, or losing my favorite stuffed dog. The days where school was something I looked forward too and making new friends was as simple as saying hi. Back then my dad picked me up when I was sad and swung me in his arms, round and round, until the problem was nonexistent. He was the only one I looked at with sparkling eyes, the only boy that mattered. I stuck my tongue out at any grimy little man and pictured a life without them. My list of things to do consisted of being happy and playing Barbies. Ten years ago things were different. The way I perceived the world was different. As a child I focused on the now and succeeded in maintaining a positive attitude. I never let one person hurt me for more than one hour.. The tears flowed but I recognized the stupidity of sitting lonely on the playground.
Now… The playground is hectic. The days are long and school is a chore. People are bigger, meaner, and for lack of a better word, stupider. Instead of focusing on the now we look ahead to the busy changes. What happened to running in the rain smiling in bliss? Where did the time in my dad’s arms go? How come my face doesn’t light up when the wind blows my hair in all directions leaving it tangled and ratted? Growing up has taught me a lot of things, and often I wish for the chance to go back to my three foot tall five year old self, where all of my worries were cured with a hug or a Popsicle. Our minds now are more capable of overthinking, not to mention they are flooded with truths, algorithms, names, and panicked pictures of the future. We form relationships but will they last? Friendship becomes something filled with gossip and backstabbing. I think that as life progresses your number of friends decreases. How nice does second grade sound. A year of content and 30 built in friends, Valentine’s, and lunchroom buddies. So far I’ve lost many friends. Some stemming from a mistake, others from lack of interest or jealousy. Friendships are one thing… Legit relationships with the opposite sex are another. These boys that enter our lives at the ripe age of 16 are not what we believe. The relationship is not handholding on the swings and running in the grass. It is passionate and overwhelmingly confusing. The pool of boys we can choose from tends to drown us now. They are immature and focused on the word “single.” How is that fair to us? Can I just have someone with the heart of a little boy write me a marker scrawled love note and leave it in on my lunchbox? Another thing that has changed in this crazy semi-adult world is the work load and the stress. Everyday we are bombarded with textbook assignments and hectic schedules. This leads to major stress. I for one tend to show my stress through the little tiny pimples scattered around my face. Everything we do in life is measured by our choices.. One wrong choice leads to a month of tears, but one right choice can lead to years of happiness. We can choose to look at the boys as scoundrels or recognize their un developed brains. We can choose to fight with our best friends or learn to forgive. We can stress out and lay in bed curled up with Netflix and an intense will to cuddle or we can have fun. These choices… As stupid or as small as they seem can take us back to the days on the playground. I truly miss my pure heart and simple thoughts. I miss the days on my boat with my lifejacket chocking my neck… I miss the planned play dates and the awe of looking into the stars as my dad carried me from the restaurant to the car. I miss my youth, and my excitement for the future. Now I’m scared and hurt. But I believe my young self would tell me to pretend that life is a fairytale and that I am the princes. All jokes aside, I believe my younger self would assure me it gets better, and that feeling of dancing in the rain full of happiness will return regardless of this teenage drama.

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