Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Letter to the Kids

How old are you right now - five, seven, ten years old? Are you scared of the world right now? Do you worry if your friends really like you or if they only like your pretty things? Well, let me tell you now. It's not going to stop yet.

It's hard - struggling as a kid. Adults often trivialize this part of our lives because they end up forgetting what it feels like. They think of these as "kids' problems". So before I become an adult, I want to write this down, so at least I don't throw these trivial feelings away.

Like I said, it's only the start. You're only going to doubt yourself more, and go through desperate measures (at the time) to get people to be your friend. And the thing is, that's alright.

One thing I always say is that age is not an excuse. If you're 10 years old or 80, if you're mean, then you're mean. Nothing can change that. And being younger or older than other people are doesn't give you the right to be hurtful.

But being human gives us the right to make mistakes, and when we're kids, it's easier to do that because everyone knows that we're still trying to figure ourselves out.

So take advantage of that. Figure yourselves out; make all the mistakes that you can. Do that until you reach high school. Try to be nice, but don't try to be perfect. We all want to be the best that we can be, but we'll never reach perfection - because that's something that we don't understand. Maybe there's someone up there who does, but it's arrogant of us to think that we humans can measure true perfection.

Do all of this, and then after? Graduate. Graduate from high school and its silliness. Never forget what values you carried with you. Don't worry too much, but start taking things seriously.

I never really had a messy high school life - but that didn't stop me from feeling the struggles of a kid. Just because I didn't have high school drama didn't mean that I never felt the hardships. In the end, one thing eats at you - insecurity. And maybe that's my own personal fault. I always questioned myself, thinking I was never good enough, even though nothing really bad arose from my actions, I always thought I might have been offending someone, hurting someone, or disturbing someone. It was scary, living in a mind full of fears.

I was one of those people who started looking forward to college years before I had to. Maybe it was because, like some people said, I was more mature than others. Maybe it was because I sought an escape. (I've been studying at the same school for 13 years until college.) Whatever the reason was, I loved the feeling of getting closer to my university life. Because of that, I wasn't really culture-shocked. After all, when you've looked forward to something this long, you knew what to expect.

But college did change something in me, it helped me a lot in addressing my own "kid problems".

Before I had gone to the university, I slowly realized, that the year I was 12 years old wasn't "the year before" or "the other year" anymore. It became "when I was younger" and eventually, "when I was a kid". I blamed myself for trying to be more selfish during my 2nd year in high school, but then I realized it wasn't "last year" anymore. I was a kid then, and I always forgot that I was only 16 years old, young and allowed to make mistakes. What I forgot the most was that even though I talked to people less, became more demanding at times, I didn't really hurt anyone. And all my friends were still my friends.

I didn't give myself any space to breathe. I didn't realize that these friends, they knew what mattered. And what mattered weren't those few experimental years I tried to be different.

I'm not that old to be giving advice, to be honest. I just really want whoever reads this to know, that even if you weren't bullied, or experienced high school drama, or climbed the social ladder and fell to the pit back in high school, doesn't mean that life as a kid wasn't hard.

Often people look back on high school years as the hardest. But years before that it was already hard. The thing that makes high school hard is that we trick ourselves into thinking that we already have everything figured out - and we couldn't be any more wrong.

I'm not sure things'll get easier from here on out. From what I know, college is the adult-world version of high school, and the actual adult world? Well, that depends on what type of lifestyle you land.

I don't think I'll be changing yet, actually. Insecurity is part of my nature, and I've been trying to cope with it, and you know what? I'll manage. I'm pretty sure this isn't the worst of it. I haven't caught myself in any large fight, or in a grand choice that will change my life forever. Hell, I haven't even gotten myself into an actual friend fight. (I wasn't kidding with that no drama shit. Maybe my own drama, but I don't think that counts.)

But at least I've started to forgive myself for what I did in the past. What's more important is that I think, as I'm writing this down, I realize that there's no forgiving to be done.

I forget that as long as you don't hurt anyone, it's alright to try to find yourself.

It's a good thing I'm writing this all down. After all, I've got a whole lifetime left.

To the kids and to myself,
Have a good life.

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