What Growing Up Has Taught Me
By Eden Smith
Time. It is the one word that possess the ability to single-handedly cause me anxiety.
We have time. We have time to make mistakes, we have time to learn from them. We have time to start a family, to work towards our dreams.
On the flip side, we don’t have time. We don’t have time to make everyone happy, to say “I love you” enough. We don’t have time to waste, because our time is limited. That’s scary.
Growing up is all kinds of things. It’s sad, it’s exciting, its nostalgic. We don’t really think about the fact that one day, the chapter of your childhood in the book of life closes. Once it has, there’s no going back to change anything, no editing it to add in any more memories. After that, a new chapter starts, -young adulthood- and so on.
I am seventeen years old. I have been on this perplexing and vivid planet for exactly 17 years and seven months. In total, that is 211 months, 916 weeks, 6,417 days, and 9,241,775 minutes. Every second of every day, those numbers increase. In this amount of time, I have discovered some things that I believe one can only learn with time.
The most notable thing I have noticed in my life, is that as I get older, I am accepting who I am. I feel like middle school and early high school is spent not discovering who you are, but instead, trying to blend in and survive the hormonal and physical changes that are inevitably forced upon you. Once this passes, you start to worry less about the way people see you. You begin to embrace the person you are. You acknowledge that you are naturally beautiful and flaws are not as important as they’re made out to be.
Don’t allow yourself to be put into a box. Humans have this peculiar tendency to want to be classified. Maybe it’s a way of having security in themselves, having a place to belong, a purpose. The way I see it, putting yourself in a box is doing nothing but limiting you. Don’t be so easily labeled.
You must stop waiting for life to come to you. Stop making 11:11 wishes and hoping for adventures and people to come knocking at your door. The first step to finding these things is to directly go out and experience them. Don’t sit around waiting for the love of your life. Don’t only date people because you’re looking for someone to spend the rest of your life with. That’s boring. Instead; meet the wrong people. They will teach you what to really search for in the right ones. Date people for the experience, to see new sides of life and love. Who knows, maybe you’ll stumble upon “the one.” The point is, they will all leave fingerprints on your past either way.
Freezing time is figuratively possible, and you should do it whenever you can. As I mentioned previously, time is something that we either have too much of or not enough. There are things, though, that can stop it for short moments. Things like laughing until your stomach is unbearably tight, or kissing the person who means everything to you. They produce bursts of feelings inside of us, like fireworks. For those short moments, we have no worry for the past, present, or future. That’s my definition of time stopping on Earth.
I am still growing up. Every day I learn new lessons and insights in this crazy, unpredictable life- and honestly, no matter what age you are, I don’t think that ever stops.
E.S., Sweet Spade