There are some parts of you I really miss—like the way it felt to come home from church on a stormy afternoon and build forts in the living room, like the joy from holding my hand out the window as the car created wind. The list could go on and on. It seems the charm of childhood when truly reflected on can be endless. But I don't think the charm of life diminishes as I relinquish you and walk forward into adulthood, I think it's my ability to see the charm that surrounds me everyday.
Yet all the same, I know there’s a difference between your chapter and the next—it seems as every minute passes, there's a difference.
There are parts of you I hated. I hated how I could never seem to make my own decisions. I hated how my next outing depended on when my dad could drive me. I hated how it seemed like no matter how many times my mother told me someday we'd be best friends, my sister daily found new ways to annoy me.
And just when I think I’ve escaped all signs of you, I see you in the corner of my eye making an appearance. One day I’m turning in my rent check, the next I’m sitting inches away from my siblings in our family’s suburban, edging our way towards Chicago. One hour I'm picking up groceries, the next I'm calling my mom to make sure I'm cooking dinner at the right temperature.
There’s a line between you and adulthood and I’m learning more time is spent sitting on the yellow dotted line, instead of lying on the black and white embankments on either side.
When I was with you I could never get a permanent grasp on what my future would hold. Dreams would flit past and hopes were given fair consideration, but nothing had to be concrete because nothing had to be done yet. I started to leave you as these dreams became less lucid and expectations were set. I think a lot of who you wanted me to be I left in the dust thinking the world knew better, but truly my heart still sits in the songs and melodies I penned when I was with you.
Truly some of my best moments of adulthood have been spent rediscovering the joys of my childhood. As I ride my bike between pine trees in Maine and as I wear matching pajamas with my sister on christmas eve, I see myself relishing in the same freedom I had forgotten belied the days of you.
You see in between you and adulthood, I’ve let time become solidified and resolute. I’ve let people, schedules, and jobs dictate my every move. I’m not naive enough to believe those things aren't important. As someone who rests in the comfort of stability, I see the importance in structure and schedules. But when did those become more important than the moment we’re living in?
I’m learning the things we one day hope for are oftentimes the things we soon thereafter live in. And yet when we arrive, we’ve already moved on to the next thing. We spend our childhood dreaming of the future to come and yet when it arrives, all the we can see is what we have to do tomorrow, the next month, the next year. Will we let this cycle play out until we die, or will we choose to live in the moment, not completely unlike a child would?
Childhood, I miss you. When I feel the tension between you and the next, I mustn’t forget the joys of being a child and the wonder surrounding it.
So maybe before attempting to throw off what seems to be the last of you, I'll relish in it, remembering my days are numbered sitting on the yellow dotted line.