By Maria Gul Khan
I’ve heard many friends, peers, relatives etc. say their childhood years were their golden years. Including myself, I’ll admit. Growing up is inevitable no doubt; but why is it that when we see that one person of our own age group that is as reckless, jolly and happy as a 5 year old, we feel instantly connected to them? These carefree ones seem to force ourselves to think about our own attitude in life. Is being serious about every single detail of our lives the only way to survive successfully in this somewhat cold and concrete world? Well, I should like to think not. Yes, the happiness and sheer joy we felt when winning a game of ludo, being allowed to go to a birthday party of a friend of ours (oh the cakes and pizzas we’d get to eat) or simply eating our favourite junk food was priceless. And I bet we’d like the ability to be just that excited about the same things in our young adult years, too.
But let’s face it. None of that matters anymore. When we’re on the road to adulthood, little else matters other than our emotions, our reaction to others and others reaction to us, what we look like, what we wear, what others are wearing, who did what, who scored the highest grades in class, who’s the ‘coolest’ guy or gal in the whole of high school and so on and so forth. And it’s easy for our negative emotions to get the best of us. We all fall into this cycle of fears and stress, caring too much about what other’s perception of us is. Superficial ideas that seem so glittery and out of this world tend to instantly attract, perhaps out of the need we feel to have or experience something different in life, something unique that just might replace the intense boredom we are so used to as teenagers and young adults. And believe me when I say that’s all well and good since it’s a part of growing up and facing the world on your own terms. But too often we lose ourselves along the way or, at least who we’re meant to be. Is that what life is all about? Really? Just filling up your empty spaces with all that is irrelevant? I think there’s something more to growing up. There’s always something more. Those lucky ones that seem so in touch with their child like side seem to have won, in my opinion. Because they see what other ordinary young adults do not. That yes, life is not all sunshine, frills, rainbows, and butterflies; it’s not who won that first game of ludo, neither is it who lies on the highest end of the social ladder. It’s neither our biggest battle nor a time passing system specifically designed to wear us out. But that’s just it: life is indefinable and indescribable at least, in just one sentence or more for that matter. With that all in my mind, if we can still connect with our younger selves and be, still in that mindset, always growing towards our better, more mature and understanding selves, we have achieved something flawless.
That said, why should we waste time on worrying, trying to draw and get a sense of the larger picture when we could just as easily draw and paint beautifully the smaller picture at hand? Let’s forget the tension, the pressure, the stress and just focus on our attitudes instead! What we put out there for others, what we want from life is more important that the clothes we wear or how we look. Believe me when I say that what good we do for others becomes good for ourselves and our emotions. Ban that negativity in your ‘under construction’ minds. The growing up process is forever changing and fluid and all we can do is “go with the flow” with a positive outlook on life. Otherwise, we have truly failed ourselves. After all, we are the future, are we not? So, I leave readers to ponder upon what you have done in life that you can successfully call “growing up.”