On Coming of Age

Your youth’s mistakes made you real.

“Oh I forgot - you’re always right. You know more than me. You’re always right.
No — I didn’t say that…I just mean…I…

It had me stewing for days after, unable to generate any witty comeback to validate my pride. I don’t even remember what was so important to defend, besides my fragile ego.

What do you say to that when you’re 15?

It’s a compassionate question masked as a sarcastic attack — an attack from a teenager’s perspective.

My mom was simply right. I was simply wrong.

I sat shivering and humiliated, humbled in an icy shower of real humility.
Speechless — my silence was an apology.
The mean, ego-heavy teenage author— Dorky smiles and top-button polos are deceiving.

The mistakes and selfishness, the ego and defensive reactivity boil down to the foolhardy pride of a particular self-discovery process we label “coming of age”.

Some of us avoid or kick the can of transition into humility or honesty or whatever necessary element you may have been missing to engage your human adaption ability.

Not a skill, this is a true talent and ability hidden in each of our genetic codes, neural framework, and consciousness.

Some of us are forced to engage it early in life, without the privilege of choice and the comfort (love, non-poverty, a just circumstance) to explore and choose.

Compassion for the collateral damage of survival, the flaws of someone’s forced maturity and all its hacked-together programming — what a test of our own progress.

Fare thee well, big kids.

We’re all playing on different parts of the same abused, miraculously-resilient, planetary sandbox — for now.