Word Winding

attempting to spin cacophony into sanity

It’s All Adolescence

When did it come to be regarded as fact that childhood is a joy, adulthood is stable, and turbulence only begrudgingly tolerated in adolescence?

Childhood is a joy, sure, yeah, sometimes. But childhood is nothing so much as landing in a foreign country where you do not know the language upon arrival and are not free to go. Childhood is experiencing — first in each day, later in each week, and eventually in each month or so — the very best and worst moments of your life so far. Childhood is a serious pursuit of knowledge. Childhood is full of confusion and unrequited longing, boredom and the unsettling feeling that everyone knows something you do not. It is experiencing feelings so blindingly huge that you are afraid of them.

Adolescence gets a bad rap, but in it, all of the above are overlaid with a gradual grasping of the big picture, a feeling so exhilarating one wishes to have endless hours to devote to it. Adolescence is launching the glorious quest of finding hearts that resonate most strongly with one’s own. Adolescence is assuming the size and shape of an adult and demanding the freedom to go with it. Adolescence is going into the world and making a map of it.

And adulthood?

At its worst, adulthood can be stable, too stable. But for me, most of the time, it is still chock full of best and worst moments, has plenty of confusion and unrequited longing, boredom and the unsettling feeling that everyone knows something I do not. It is still experiencing feelings so blindingly huge that I am afraid of them. And it is also the ongoing pursuit of knowledge, the heady aroma of freedom, and the gradual grasping and refining of the big picture. Most of all, delightfully, it is the process of growing together with those hearts which resonate most strongly with my own.

It is, all of it, messy and painful and filled with joy. And the more I open to the chaos of it all, the more I learn to revel in it.

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They have recently discovered my shoe storage. No heel is safe. And so now none of our toes are, either.

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