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Growing Up Can Be Cruel

I remember when I was young waking up to the sound of the garage door opening.  The mechanics would groan and creak; it was my cue to throw off the blankets. I would always run downstairs as fast as I could, straight to the window. My dad’s green Subaru Outback would be pulling out of the driveway, disappearing into the distance. I always thought to myself “I can’t wait till I am older like my dad.” He was my role model.


After the tail lights of my dad’s car could no longer be seen, I would go back to the family room. Every morning my mom sat in the rocking chair drinking her first cup of coffee for the day; her computer sat on her lap lighting up the room as she checked her email. I would go and sit next to her and beg for a taste of her coffee. Of course she allowed me to try it, but warned first, “it’s very hot!”


I never listened. As I tasted the bitterness of the coffee I would hear her add, “You probably won't like it!” As most kids do, I hated it.  After I took a drink I thought: “Someday I will get older like my mom and coffee will taste better.” I was right; the horrible taste that I thought made up coffee is now something I enjoy.


As I have gotten older my life also grew. My views have changed; the role my parents play has changed; my responsibilities have changed. I realize now that growing up isn't all that I thought it would be when I was young. Yes, there are good things about growing up.  Driving from place to place, hanging out with friends, my voice and appearance changing, and just doing things that at one point were impossible. It is the freedom I would dream of as a child, but through all of the bonuses it has a cruel edge.


All the positives aside, sometimes growing up is cruel. The ability to go places goes hand-in-hand with one of the most important things that you never even realized you had: free time.  When you are a young child tramping outdoors and always having tons of time to play, you never acknowledge what free time even is. My sister and I would spend hours on end lost in the woods, knowing our only stipulation was to be home for dinner. Now I realize that time is limited, and only a certain amount of things fit into a day. Being older brings rules and necessary responsibilities that must take priority over playing in the woods. Having a job is almost unavoidable in 2017; but, you find yourself running from school to work, and back to school, for a sports practice or other event, and needing to fit the large amounts of homework in too.  Sometimes, if you are lucky, you get to hang out with a friend after practice on a Friday night, only to have to go back to work the next morning since it is the weekend. You do gain a certain freedom when you are older, but you also lose having other freedoms: the freedom of not having responsibility.


All in all, growing up is not a bad thing. I would not change what I have learned or who I have become, but if there was one thing I could tell anyone who is young it would be to enjoy their time of innocence, you can only be young once. It may sound cheesy coming from a teenager, and I'm sure I have a lot more to learn about growing up, but let me tell you the one thing I have certainly learned:


I sure do wish I had appreciated being three-feet tall and not having a worry in the world.




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