1st Place 2015 YWA (Grade 7) – Anmy Lee from ISNS
Life: The Child inside You and the Adult You’re Told to Become
by Anmy Lee (Grade 7 – ISNS)
I believe there are two sides to everyone; the child inside of you, and the adult you’re told to become.
Recently I’ve had my 13th birthday. It wasn’t a really fancy occasion. I got my gifts, got to eat great food, and it was just a typical birthday. Except on that day, I realized something dreadful: I was growing up.
People always ask you on your birthday if you feel any different. I was asked a few times. And the thing is I don’t feel any different. You don’t just simply wake up one day and suddenly feel more mature. It doesn’t work that way. And age. It’s just a number, right? You hear people say it all the time. Isn’t the most important thing supposed to be how old you feel inside?
However for me, reaching 13 years of age meant that I was officially branded as a teenager.
When you become a teenager, people start seeing you differently. You stop being that cute little kid scampering around the playground, or dancing along to your favorite songs. You become a sort of burden; a rebellious ungrateful little pain-in-the-butt who hates their parents and the whole world. You’re not cute anymore, with your acne-splattered face and your lanky posture. All the adults tell you to ‘grow up’ when you do something the least bit childish. You hear it so much that eventually, you start rejecting the term. Why do you have to grow up? What’s so fun about being an adult? Sure, you don’t have to go to school, but you have to work. You have to worry about taxes, and paying bills, and politics. You’ve got so many responsibilities that you’d just rather be a child forever.
As you grow up, you’re under the pressure from your parents, your teachers, and basically the society in general, that now you have to act mature and responsible. And most of the time you do what you’re told, because you feel a sort of obligation to act your age. But this obligation is what sucks the fun out of life! No matter how many times they tell you to grow up, there’s always going to be that child inside of you. It’s what (no matter how old you are) makes you giddy with joy when you see your favorite cartoon. It makes you squeal with laughter when a bunch of bubbles are blown in your direction. It allows you to relax and slow down when your responsibilities just become too much for you to handle.
And what I don’t understand is why anyone would want that child inside of you to go away.
I think too many adults feel indebted to having to act like what they’re supposed to, that they unintentionally kill off the child inside them. That to me is the worst thing you can mentally do to yourself. Without that childlike naïveness, your life will honestly become miserable.
When you’re a kid, you don’t care about what other people think. All that matters to you is that you’re having fun. Who cares if you’ve got chocolate smeared all over your face? Who cares if your drawings don’t resemble something the least bit realistic? So why is it that when you’re an adult, you have to let what other people are telling you to stand in your way of happiness?
I personally don’t want to grow up. I’m not ready yet. But if everyone got to grow up when they’re ready, chances are it’s never going to happen. Because you’re never ready to face reality. You want to live in this peaceful little fantasy forever. You have no worries except for that homework assignment that’s due tomorrow. You have no important responsibilities except to maybe take out the trash after dinner. You live a happy content life. So when someone suddenly tells you that you have to give it all up someday, of course you’re not ready. Because in the end, you’re never ready to grow up.
Ultimately, you can view life from two different perspectives, the child inside of you and the adult you’re told to become. The thing is to not get too carried away with trying to be one or the other. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to become that stereotypical adult the society wants you to be. However at the same time, you can’t be a child forever. Everyone grows up at some point, and eventually you’re going to have to accept reality and responsibilities. But you should never ever let that child inside of you die, no matter what people tell you, because at the end of the day it’s what makes your life happy and creative, and that’s what makes you who you are.
Congratulations to Anmy in winning an iPad Mini sponsored by Baima Photography & Design Co. Ltd.