on growing up

Date: Mon, 30 Sep 1996 22:56:43 -0400
To: Carolyn L Burke 
From: louern@vif.com
Subject: on growing up

When I was younger, grown ups knew everything. They didn't make mistakes, they thought logically, calmly, and most of all boringly. They weren't interested in fun. They obeyed all the rules. They didn't cry, and they didn't fuss over what they couldn't have. I never wanted to be one. I wanted to be four feet tall forever. I wanted to spend my days running, jumping, skipping, laughin.

I thought they thought I was silly and immature. But what I really wanted to believe was that they were jealous. Jealous of my youth, my vitality for life, my energy, my attitude. I wanted to believe that I was getting the better end of the deal, but I knew I wasn't. I knew that I too, would face the harsh reality of conforming, obeying the rules, and being the one to say "SHHHH" instead of the one whipsering in church. For this reason, I rebelled. I did everything in my power to stay young. This included thinking young, acting young, and of course looking young, which I think I have been able to do, psychologically.

How I did this, I will probably never know. I have grown up without growing up. I refuse to believe that becoming an adult in the sociologic definition, is obligatory. Actually, in many instances I think it is a social problem. What foolishness to not play with children just before their bedtime because it gets them 'all excited'.

Growing up, in my mind, is radically deceiving, and if nothing else, blown way out of proportion. Growing up is merely the realization that such a thing does not exist. it is a stereotypical image, like many others in our backwards society, that people are brainwashed into doing while they are too inexperienced to know better.And that is why I have decided that I am never going to do it.

But now the time has come. As hard as it is for me to admit, I must look at the changes I have gone through, realistically. The biggest and most unbelievable one I have noticed was learning, and accepting conformity. I was forced to throw away some precious innocence, and along with it went much spontinaity. Replaced with rituals, caution, and envy. This is growing up: greeting people with Hi! how are you? Asking for permission, and respecting my superiors. (Ha!) I even read magazines. Welcome to society, kid. It's still the same world you loved as a child, however, you're not too impressed with it now. It's hard to be a one-of-a-kind out here. It takes alot of inner strength, not to mention guts, to be really unique out here, and something tells me that I will never be as unique a grown up as I felt as a child. Hopefully I will emerge with enough courage to remember what I was in all this confusion. I won't become a rebel to society and all it's backwards ways, but I will never become a slave to it either.

Louise M. Pothier

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