Do you know the conflict of being torn between two completely contradicting feelings? That “when will I grow up” phrase we say confidently and repeatedly as children, slowly turns into “when did this happen?,” coupled with a few tears and a massive fear from adulthood. Because you know, adulthood life is no picnic, and surely comes with a batch of uncalled for responsibilities. Yet, growth and maturity is the reason we’ve come to the world, right? That’s why as much as we can sometimes hate that we’re getting older, with more burdens to carry on our shoulders, we can’t deny as well that growing up shapes our personalities, and makes the world leaders we see changing the world.
Silent Battles You Win
Five year old us would wake up in the middle of the night, freaked out about a nightmare, run to her parents’ room so she could get a gentle pat on the back, and a warm hug to snug into. But when we’re all grown up, nightmares are more than just a hungry dinosaur trying to devour you for a meal, or superman failing to save me from the villain. It’s the traumas and the heartbreaks that haunt your subconscious. It’s you failing to let go of the past, and your mind refusing to give you a rest, even for a couple of hours in the middle of the night.
Grown ups don’t run waking everyone up just because they had a nightmare no one would even understand..and if it happened one night, it surely isn’t happening the following one. But you know what? You get to learn to toughen up and be independent, maybe the hard way. But your inner prize section piles up with one more award. You made it today, again. You wiped your own tears, calmed your own racing heart and went back to sleep, giving yourself the gentle pat on your own back now.
Praise and Trust
A child would expect everyone to treat them gently, and be given a smile as well as praise for the simplest of acts as knowing how to count to ten for instance. You grow up, however, to be told that the world is like a jungle, so you better toughen up, because no one is going easy on you, and the strong, only the strong, survive. You’re advised to remain cautious at all times, don’t share your secrets with work colleagues right away, don’t fall in love too hard, and never follow people blindly. Not everyone has the same big loving heart as you do, they say.
Yet, you stumble on your way with people that you’ve met in unexpected settings and times, that literally turn your life upside down, living lots of beautiful moments that makes you heart grow 10 times its size, restoring your faith in humanity. Something you thought you’ve lost along your way. You grow to be more powerful, while preserving your kind heart as is, setting an example for others to follow your lead.
A kid wouldn’t know, nor care about the value of money. He/she are either crying because dad refused to buy us the toy, or perhaps because they wanted one more jump (after the nine previous ones they did), only to forget about the toy one day later, joining the box of thrown away and forgotten dolls. There’s no concerns regarding paying the rent and earning money for a living. But you know what? It has a different taste, knowing you’ve earned your money yourself, valuing all the effort that was put into it, and acknowledging that you deserve everything you have now.
Letting go of Fear and Accountability
A five year old would breakdown and cry when confronted with something they did, or when bullied in school, as they see their classmates making fun of them. Adulthood later comes to the rescue, because you finally learn to stand your ground and stand up for yourself. You learn to hold yourself accountable when you mess up, and you’re no longer afraid to admit you were mistaken, and can apologize.
Separation and New beginnings
A five year old would expect life to stay on the same pattern. They’d wake up everyday for breakfast, visit their grandparents each weekend, with no clue that one day this seemingly simple routine, could change forever. No one bothers to tell them otherwise, or bring their attention to difficult topics, like ones around death and loved ones moving away.
They’ll figure that out themselves growing up, they say. And years later, you’re sold the idea that you need to accept and be open to change. You find yourself helpless, as you lose your loved ones to death or otherwise. You find your best friend for eleven years moving out of the country..and it’s just what it is.
But when people leave, they leave room for others to come along, right? Your circle may grow small, but the quality sure grows too. You get to experience a sense of unity when you find a shoulder to cry on, until you’re strong again and ready to stand on solid ground. And those brutal experiences softens your heart, makes you appreciate and validate all the spectrum of emotions, and facilitates the sympathizing process with others so that when they come to you with a heavy heart, you know how to make it lighter, because you’ve been there.
Self Expression and Forgiveness
A little girl would smile to every stranger, and can share what’s on her mind, expressing her love for someone by giving them chocolates and heart stickers. But would that work now? Can you simply express your love for people around you, without the fear of being misunderstood or even judged? “Khalik te2il” is a better motto many choose to live by. It just spares you the misery, misunderstandings, and fierce judgments.
But when doing so with the right ones, when you find kind hearts that appreciate and validate efforts, you find comfort and warmth. You get to really connect and understand that how people see you, comes from how they see themselves, and so you learn to empathize and understand others, even when they do you wrong. We learn that instead of judging them for their mistakes, we understand they were struggling.
The Need to Brag
A five year old would enjoy their simple tea party with their imaginary friends, serving empty tea cups to their dolls, without the social pressure of feeling the need record it or put it as an Instagram story to impress one’s followers. But now, if you’re literally on cloud nine having lunch with the queen of England, what would that do? What if they didn’t have their phone, and can’t post it to be able to brag? If a tree falls down and no one listened, did it really make a sound?
Realizing so, you learn the importance of staying down to earth and real to yourself. You are reminded about what truly matters. It’s not the numbers of likes and shares, nor catching the experience on tape, it’s simply living the moment and enjoying it with all your senses.
Hardships and Faith
A child could easily cry in public spaces when he/she doesn’t get the doll they begged their daddy to buy. They were entitled to express their mini sorrow at any given time and place. No one judged a little kiddo for crying right? But not getting the doll you want when you were five, isn’t the same as not getting to spend the rest of your life with the person your heart desires the most.
And yet, what’s expected from you after a divorce or a breakup is to pull yourself together, not shed a tear during the long working hours, family gatherings, or even while running your house errands. Strong people don’t cry, do they? Well, at least not in front of people. But such battles you carry silently and solely, teach you the art of healing, give you a heart that’s forgiving, and helps you build a huge foundation of faith and trust with a higher power. To finally learn how to trust God’s plan..because they are always better than yours.
Realizing the value of YOU
A five year old would sleep on the couch watching cartoons, knowing that they’ll magically appear in bed the following morning. But I bet we’re too heavy now, aren’t we? So unless you pull your own legs, and go to your bedroom, you’ll find yourself in no different position from where you were yesterday. And that’s the valuable lesson you learn. Being independent and loving yourself enough to believe that, happiness and success aren’t in other people, nor another job, nor from better circumstances, but from within. Sounding cliché doesn’t make this any less true!