On Growing Up Quickly

I’m sitting on the floor of my apartment.

Barefoot, watching the sun go down. This evening, the sky is a glorious medley of gold and blue and purple. I have India Arie’s I am Light playing. Her words are poignant yet quiet. They are utterly deserving of repetition until they become my belief.

They are my declaration.

Early last week, my father sent me screenshots of photographs. Photographs that documented several moments of my childhood. I am grateful that memories of my childhood fill me with joy and not anguish.

I saw photographs of myself being held by my brother, dancing at parties, cutting birthday cake, eating spaghetti. What I would give to go back to that time.

I remember being thirteen and daydreaming, looking forward to leaving home. I remember eavesdropping on what my parents and their friends talked about over beer and garden eggs and pepper soup. I remember tending to guests and taking a little extra time because I did not want to miss out on a particular detail.

I remember trying on my mother’s lipstick and jewellery when she was away. I remember wanting to have my own space.

And here I am, sitting on the floor of my apartment. Having paid rent a few days ago. It hurts.

I miss being taken care of. I miss the permission of irresponsibility childhood granted me.

Ten years from now when I own my home and will possibly be married, I will miss eating pizza at two in the morning while trying to finish a paper. I will miss impromptu sleepovers at Tosin’s house.

The next time I am tempted to wish I am somewhere else, I will remember that all of this is temporary. I will remember that ten years ago, I laid on my bed and watched the stars twinkle and wished the same.

I will remember to enjoy being young and fresh-faced.

Growing up is like watching the sun go down. It happens slowly and certainly and beautifully. Then, all of a sudden, night falls.

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