“One of these days you’re going to stop being so emo”, she says.
She has a point. Hell, I look at writings of mine, like, say, the post before this one and part of me just cringes. It’s all so immature, so junior high.
Do I need to just grow up? I wonder.
Growing up has become less and less important to me in the past few years. I feel like I’ve had it up to here with growing up. I spent my childhood growing up at an accelerated rate, learning to be a responsible little adult in a chaotic world. Where many of my peers are just now discovering the calm and empowerment that comes with maturity, I’m disallusioned with it. It’s a worthwhile path, but it only goes so far. It can teach you how to cope, but not how to live.
I can out grown-up anyone my age and a good percentage of my elders. I’ve been there, done that. I had to. I can do patient acceptence, and Taking The Long View, and sound financial decisions, and all that jazz. Don’t talk to me about maturity. If I’m not handling something in a suitably “adult” manner, it’s not because I don’t know how.
It takes more than just maturity to make up a complete life, just as it takes more than youthful verve and vitality. If I’ve learned anything from psychology it’s that you can’t expect parts of your soul to just go away if you ignore them long enough, like teeth will. Every facet of the soul craves expression at some time or another. Maturity has long been my most expressed attribute. What of the others?
I used to be proud of the fact that I never went through the period of rebellion that most teenagers go through. I’m realizing now that rebellion isn’t just a backlash against insufficient parenting; it’s an essential part of human development in and of itself. Maybe we all need to rage against The Man at some point.
I clung to the formula I had been given like a magic spell: home, job, wife, children. But life is not like a referentially transparent language: order matters. You can’t skip whole segments around and expect the soul to be satisfied. I understand that now.