Like most people, I enjoy embracing my experiences, again, and again, and again. Although my childhood has since been tinted a lot, it’s always fun to relive the past.
While looking through whatever random shit the new Snapchat update decides I want to look at, I came upon a story. While I always get a sense of sadness when reading about whatever the world throws at us, this news particularly upset me.
“A favorite shopping destination is closing its doors, and Toys “R” Us shoppers are wondering exactly how it will affect them.”
I’m not a fan of corporatism, nor am I an avid shopper at my local Toys “R” Us, but since I’ve read this, I’ve been left with sadness, like when the dog dies in Marley & Me. These feelings are purely because one thought is connected with this news: I’m growing up.
It’s not that I’ve ignored the reality of my age increasing, but the reality of the situation is that the world keeps on moving, even if we’re not ready for it. I look in the mirror, and no longer see the same kid that used to sneak downstairs to watch wrestling despite his mother telling him not to; my life is in my hands now, it’s not scary for me to think this. It’s just different. You live your entire adolescence being told that things change. They do. For better, and for worse.
To be honest, I’m not sure what the goal of me writing is right now. I don’t mean in general, but literally, at the second I’m typing this; I guess this is a coping mechanism for me. It’s always surreal to think that I can do this, I can take my thoughts and just throw a bunch of words onto a piece of paper. I mentioned that some things stay the same for people and that’s definitely one of them for myself. Reading my own words still gives me the same sense of happiness and amazement it did 10 years ago.
The fact that I’m chasing my dreams is also amazing, I’m writing and pursuing it as a job. I feel like we always tell children to follow their dreams to protect them, to ensure that they don’t grow up too soon; I’m actually doing it though, I’m in college with other people who all have the same dreams as me, it really is happening. My life has always been me trying to fit in. For the first time in my life, I’m doing it!
The transition to becoming an “adult” hasn’t been terrible for me. While I think some unfortunate experiences I’ve had to deal with forced me to grow up a little quicker than I would’ve liked to, I still think I was raised well enough to be ready for this. While I believe that my mother is genuinely crazy sometimes, I can’t imagine where I would be if she wasn’t so “real”. It wasn’t abusive, I wouldn’t even call it “tough love”, but she allowed for me to glimpse into what it’s like for someone to be an adult. I don’t think she even realizes how much she has taught me without even saying a word sometimes.
I don’t feel like I ever give my father enough credit, but he has also been vital for my development to where I am now. In a way, I’ve watched my dad grow up with me; I’m not saying he was immature, but like all of us, we can be rough around the edges. I feel like I’ve been raised by two different men in one body, seeing that people can change has made me a better man.
I still find myself amazed by the things I can say about myself: I’m in college, I’m in an actual relationship, I can take care of myself (to a degree). I’m not perfect, but in an unperfect world, I feel that I’m not doing a bad job. It’s almost like the first 18 years of my life was a tutorial, a warm-up of some sorts. The training wheels are off, and it’s my time to drive.
I look in the mirror and don’t see an eight-year-old boy anymore, but I still see me, if that makes sense. The world isn’t holding my hand anymore, but my dreams are still right there, waiting for me to grab them, and if that isn’t exciting, I don’t know what is.