Found this stashed somewhere in the deepest caverns of my unpublished blog drafts. This was 3 years back.
I turned 20 not too long ago. Had a pretty decent celebration with the family and friends doing nothing too extraordinary. I have never really warmed up to the idea of having grand celebrations at hotels, chalets, and the likes. I guess growing up in a family who never really “do birthdays” was the reason why, and I never had expectations for things like these, which is good for me, and poses less of a hassle for people around me, so it’s good for them too.
Anyway, turning a year older got me thinking about things ever since I’ve crossed the 18th mark – perpetually scared of growing older and what lies ahead (and I must emphasize not so much physically as people might think, but more mentally and emotionally). On my, technically, last day of being 19, I was pleasantly greeted by thoughts like “Shit, I’m growing into an adult, oh god I’m growing old, oh man can I just be a kid forever.” I can’t deny these thoughts that question my achievements thus far, thoughts that question my future, thoughts that worry, thoughts that basically do nothing to alleviate the “oh crap i’m growing old” hysterics.
I was thinking about the analogy of fitting into things. How we have always, throughout our lives, grown up to fit into things. Say, at 3, you got a new sweater just a size too big. Or at 5, you were playing around with your dad’s Raybans which can’t quite fit your tiny face. At 8, the shoe that your mom bought just 2 sizes too large. Then, without noticing the years that took to get you where you are, you realize that, hey I can finally fit into these now! You wonder how you could fit into it so perfectly, without even realizing how much you’ve grown to fit into them. And ultimately, once that thing no longer fits us, once we have grown bigger, we have to fit into something of a different size. A different mould. We learn to be comfortable in it, and settle with it. And it goes on and on in a progressive manner. We readjust. We settle. We grow and we fit.
Growing up takes patience sometimes, and we don’t realize we are already there when we’ve grown because we tend to forget. I forget that I’m growing, and that’s just the nature of being mortal – we forget doctor’s appointments, we forget our friend’s birthdays, we even forget what we have forgotten, and well, we forget that we’ll die one day. And sometimes we forget that we’re growing up to fit into things. To fit into new phases, new environments, to fit with new people, to fit into new responsibilites.
I think the nature of us having to grow up, without us having any control over, (even though it freaks out us control freaks big time sometimes), fixes that. Growing up pushes and forces me to suck it up and say that yes, I will and I CAN fit into those shoes. It might all seem too overwhelming at first from a distance, but perhaps over the years, it won’t be as scary as I once thought it would be. When it seems like the shoes I’m wearing are just too big for me to fill from where I am standing, I need to trust that I’ll eventually fit into it in time, with the help of some love and support from the people around me. And of course, with the growing confidence, faith, and hope that our lives can only get better – and our shoes can only fit us proper – as we grow a little older.