Growing Up and Down

image from In Detention
image from In Detention

I’ve always wanted to be older. In third grade, the first year I returned to the same school I had previously attended, I remember being confused to find the same people that had been in my class last year still with me.

“But I am in third grade now. Where are the third graders?”

I thought I had transcended something, that now I was going to be accepted into the ranks of the big kids I’d had glimpses of on the playground. But no, I felt no different. And was still with the same people from last year.

I remember admiring the 8th graders come graduation my first year in middle school. I was transfixed by the graduating class. These people were thirteen- they had everything figured out. They carried themselves with confidence. I remember one girl was honored for everything. I mean everything. There was no student group she wasn’t involved in somehow, had lead most things and won almost every award imaginable. I remember thinking “I want to be like her..” (and I did, and almost killed myself in the process, but can’t regret it). But sure enough, once in eight grade I envied the high schoolers, with all their freedom and about to start lives of their own.

And it isn’t just a school thing. I envy the experienced people at work, those who know how everything works, who to contact, where the forms are kept, how to use the right do-dad (and say so in more technical terms), and so on.

And here, too. I envy the people here who have years of experience, who write beautiful summaries of these great realizations they’ve had that leave me wide-eyed in awe. These people have accepted this part of themselves, built a life around it and feel comfortable enough to share it. I want to develop that kind of understanding and acceptance.

I want to skip ahead, but part of me knows that’s missing the point. Once an ending is reached, it can feel anticlimactic. It’s the mistakes, the journey that makes the ending worthwhile. I need to keep growing up of course, but also to grow down- to be comfortable admitting ignorance and learning.

Besides, if I were all wise, serene, and perfect, how would I ever get spanked?

image from Naughty Girls Made to Blush
image from Naughty Girls Made to Blush

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