It’s ironic that I’m surrounded by the slogan “never grow up” on a pretty regular basis. The slogan of my quidditch team, The Lost Boys Quidditch Club: Never Grow Up.
Part of me convinces myself that I wish those words rung true. Many of us wish we were little kids again, not a worry in the world except for making sure we pick up our toys before our parents yell at us… but the more I contemplate, the more I question: do we really want to never grow up?
I’ve always enjoyed growing up. From middle school to high school, I looked forward to new teachers, new classes, and being at the top of the food chain. Graduating high school and going to college, it was a new experience- studying in a new country. It was all pretty grand. Coming to LA to get a Master degree was exciting, it made me feel like a big kid, feel like someone important perhaps. But as I count down the months before defending my thesis and graduating, I find myself drawn to those words all over again: “Never Grow Up”.
The kid in me wants to go back to high school, where I simply worried about making sure I get to school on time, and making sure I hand in my forms to take school trips around the world. As I reminisce on those easier times, I realized something…. the reason we want to never grow up, isn’t because being a kid was the best years of our lives, but because we let fear take over. It’s not because we don’t want to hold responsibilities, but it’s because we’re scared we won’t be able to live up to those responsibilities and expectations. It’s not because we want to turn back time, it’s because we’re fearful of the unknown and it’s much easier to think about what we already know.
These moments of fear, of anxiety, of irrational thoughts can easily take hold of us and prevent us from being our best selves. It has a way to lead us to thoughts that automatically seem less ideal. Think back to a time where you were excited about something, a trip, an event, a big life change…. I bet the thought of never growing up never crossed your mind during that moment of excitement. You probably couldn’t wait for that moment to come, you couldn’t focus because you just wanted to get there, and you just wanted to fast forward time.
Imagine if we lived every moment excited for the next, we would never look back at say “I wish I could never grow up”. It’s not easy to always be excited, and sometimes fear is rational and necessary. But most of the time, when we dig deep within ourselves and face our fears, we only come out stronger on the other side.
Some fears we can overcome with enough preparation.
Other fears, we may simply have to stare it straight in the eye and say, today: I’m not thinking, I’m just going to do. So you might as well leave me alone before I stampede over you on my way to happiness.
So here I am- growing up- battling the unknown on a daily basis, and recognizing that fear is only as powerful as I let it be.