Tuesday, January 29, 2013

no undertaking ever surpassed my courage

“Grown ups are complicated creatures, full of quirks and secrets.” 
 ― Roald Dahl

As we've all slowly turned 21, one-by-one I have noted that I and my compatriots are increasingly inching out of the world of childhood, and into the world of adulthood. But it doesn't feel any different. You are not invested with all the superhuman powers of invincibility and infallibility that your mom and dad had. (They definitely had them when you were seven. I would have sworn my parents, vested with all the power, wisdom and knowledge that comes with being Grown Up, were invincible and infallible. Suddenly, one day I was fifteen, and I had forgotten my parents were supposed to be infallible.)
As we thought of our current diet of egg-and-toast and tea, we laughed wistfully at the idea that grown ups get to eat sweets each day. 
The sight of chocolate alone has become enough to feed me for a month.

And it's strange, that even when you're grown up, you're not tall enough to reach the highest branches.
Some questions are still unanswerable. In fact, questions you thought you could find the answers to you realize that you didn't really know them at all.
And there are some burdens that are just too heavy to haul all on your own.
And the creatures underneath the bed haven't disappeared, and sometimes I don't feel quite brave enough to fight them.

But I think that's the beautiful thing about childhood.
You never really leave it.
When you're young, you imagine that one day you will pass through a strange and solemn rite that turns you into a Grown Up.
Not really.
You realize that growing isn't the same as Growing Up. In fact, Growing Up can often stunt the actual growing.
Childhood is a time of constant growing.
And I've found that being Grown Up isn't really any different.

"When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” 
-- C.S. Lewis

1 comment:

  1. Dear Renee, make sure you're getting enough to eat and plenty of nutrition over in Britain... I remember trying to save my stipend money for traveling so I would practically starve myself to save on groceries, and it made me feel unwell and kind of grumpy! Make sure you're eating properly. :) Sainsbury's brand is cheap.