A friend of mine today said she wanted to be me when she grew up. I thought that was soooo wrong on two levels. The first level was who the heck would ever want to be me? I’m old, broken, live in constant pain, and don’t know when to rest when I should. I am opinionated, tact impaired, and, well you get the idea. The second level of this being a bad idea was the fact that my friend wanted to grow up.
I have always contended that you should embrace getting older but never growing up. I have watched other friends grow up. They have mortgages; I do too, children, yup got them also, bills, duties, and responsibilities; all things I claim, but they also have guilt, regret, and no youthful enthusiasm. The ones my age look ten years older and the ones who look my age are ten years younger. Who would want that?
As we go through life looking for what makes us happy let’s not forget how we got there. We looked for the silver lining. We had faith that it would all work out and that whatever we did would make a difference. We were children, and in my case, flower children. We had Woodstock, The Who, bell bottom jeans, beads, and long hair with flowers in them. We grooved to Scott McKenzie, Janis Joplin and Janis Ian, and believed that the world could live in peace.
Unfortunately many of us destroyed all those dreams we had in that farm in upstate New York and on the streets in San Francisco. In effect they ‘grew up’. Let’s stop growing up. Let’s stay children who get older so we can pick more flowers, tell more stories, laugh at more jokes, and do more for the world.
So the next time Karla tells me she wants to be just like me I’ll know that means acting childlike while being an adult. Remember you can always get older; you just don’t ever have to grow up.