As a child I always wanted to grow up. I mean come on, grown ups could always stay up late, go where they wanted to go and had the power to buy all the candy they could eat.
To a kid, that sounds amazing, but now that I’m actually grown up I realize that I miss my childhood, because now, as I look back, those were the best years of my life.
What I didn’t realize when I was younger was being a grown up comes hand in hand with responsibility. I didn’t understand the concept of not being able to do something even when I really wanted to.
For example, I remember one summer when one of my mom’s best friends came to stay with us for two weeks. We had so much fun but it finally came down to the day when she had to go back home.
I remember looking up and asking her “Why don’t you stay longer?” Of course she replied that she wished she could but she simply couldn’t and she did, in fact, leave a few minutes later.
I never understood that. If she wanted to stay then why didn’t she just stay? What could be so important that it would stop her from doing something she wanted?
It was in that moment, at the naïve age of seven, that I promised myself I would never allow anything to keep me from doing something I wanted to do.
Now, at the age of twenty, I look back on that young girl and I see how she looks at me, puzzled as to why I’m stuck in a cage that I stepped into willingly. I see her disappointment in me and I feel the disappointment as I look back at her.
I broke my promise to myself.
Do I want to live in the city? No. Why do I then? Because that’s where work is and that’s where school is.
Do I want a dog? Yes. Then why don’t I simply get one? Because they cost money and time and would restrict even more of what little freedom I have.
Do I want to go visit my friend in Germany who keeps begging me to? Of course I do! But I can’t, no money and no time.
Will there ever be a time when I have both the money and the time to do something I want? Or is this a never-ending cycle?