When Childhood Is Gone
Waving goodbye to your childhood dreams and ambitions
“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the one that is waiting for us.” — E.M Foster
I do believe that this quote is meant to evoke hope and feelings of positive renewal, and often times it does. But right now it just reminds me that there comes a time when you realize the life you dreamed of as a kid isn’t the one you’re gonna get.
My plan? My plan was to be really physically strong and healthy and bad ass. I wanted to do MMA, Roller Derby and go on Ninja Warrior just for shits and giggles. Outside that, I wanted my career to be in acting. I wanted to be fearless in the roles I chose, and inspire the masses. I wanted to be busy, organized, successful and happy. I wanted to be married at 22 or 23. I wanted to have a kid, Rose or Oliver, at 26 or 27. I wanted to be happy. Now I’m almost 21. I’m not as thin and healthy as I wanted to be — not by a long shot. I have no plans to get married in a year or even two. I’m not acting often because I’m too self conscious of how I look to do good work. I don’t feel very much like a bad ass or an inspiration. I feel like a push over and exponentially weak. I’m not even happy. I still want to be, but I still think the key to happiness lays in my losing weight. I can’t kick that mindset, and if I haven’t by now I don‘t know if I ever will. I’m not even happy. But I want to be…
What do I need to do to be happy?? Quit my job, move back to my hometown and start again from square one? What the fuck do I do? Why does no one prepare you for how fucking terrifying your early 20’s are? Everyone always says that “yeah, growing up is hard,” but goddamn! No one ever bothers to tell you just HOW hard. And in what WAYS it’s hard. I don’t feel that I have been set up for success. Not by any means. I feel like I’ve been launched head first into a schedule and life I didn’t fucking ask for.
The only thing that’s keeping me going right now is something my sister said after my brother killed himself. He was only 21, and in the midst of her crying she said “I just wish he would have waited. Just hung on a little longer. It gets so much better.”
I’m not going to lie, I’ve been having some tantalizing thoughts of ending it all. I won’t, simply because I couldn’t do that to my family and my friends. They’ve been through hell already. But it’s just getting really hard. I’m constantly on the verge of tears; it’s gotten to the point where I constantly have a sore throat from swallowing them down so often.
I also have a bit of an anger issue that I’ve never really talked about with anyone. I hold it down really well, thanks to my brothers abusive training of hiding emotion. But it’s scary. Sometimes I’ll get so mad that I have to sit down and force myself to take steady breaths just so I don’t throw something across the room, punch a wall or hurt myself. It’s not just big things that pull out this feeling though — it’s little things. I have a shitty iPhone 4 (yes. not even a 4s. A 4) and sometimes that thing goes so goddamn slow or just shuts down for no reason and it takes EVERYTHING in me not to go Office Space on its ass ….(die mothafuckas die mothafuckas still)
But I digress…
I guess what I’m saying here is that as a kid I was so excited to grow up. It was all I would talk about. “I can’t wait to be bigger so I can do X, Y & Z…” I wish I could go back in time and sit down with my childhood self. Tell her that it’s going to be hard growing up. I think I thought that once I grew up all the abuse and negativity I was facing would go away. Well, I guess it did. But I’d take his abuse over his death any day.
At least when I was little I never felt lonely. I never felt small; if anything I felt BIG. I had so much passion and energy, I just felt trapped in a little body. A little body that no one took seriously. Now I feel like a little kid trapped in a big persons body. People ask me to pay bills and go to work and face my anxiety on a daily basis, and I just look at them and say: “Don’t you see how small I am? How can you put this kind of responsibility on my shoulders? How can you ask me to take out $30,000 in student loans? How can you ask me to do so much when I feel so small? Don’t you see that I’m still small?”