Hold on to Sixteen
By Rachel Richter
Remember when we were little kids? We couldn’t wait to grow up! We dreamed all day and night about how great our lives were going to be. We dreamed of being taller, so that our feet would no longer dangle in the air when we sat. We dreamed of being old enough to sit in the front seat of a car, of having our own cell phones, and of driving our own cars. We looked to the future with wonder, awe, and excitement. And now we are here. We are finally where we always wanted to be. We are older. But is growing up really all it’s cracked up to be?
When we were younger, we couldn’t wait to be older. But now that we have grown up, we would do anything to be young again! It’s funny how life works. Now, we look back on our lives and long for things to be simple again. We imagine the days when we had no troubles, responsibilities, or drama. When we began every day with our clothes laid out on the floor, breakfast made for us, and cartoons on a continuous loop… When our biggest obstacle of the day was when our mom combed out a painful knot in our hair… When we weren’t allowed to leave the kitchen table until we finished everything on our plate… I would give anything to go back to those days.
George Bernard Shaw said that youth is wasted on the young. But this doesn’t necessarily have to be true. On one hand, it is great to look forward to the future! That’s awesome that you have something to look forward to! Don’t lose that sense of wonder. But there is a fine line that we have to walk between anticipating the future and wishing away our lives. Don’t be so consumed in your future that you don’t appreciate your current life. After all, today is a gift. That is why it’s called the present.
However, at the same time, life stops for nobody. We cannot avoid the trials and responsibilities that come with life. Hardships are necessary because they allow us to mature and become responsible human beings. But, in a way, we should never really grow up. While growth and development are necessary, I think we should remain forever young. It is important to hold on to a sense of childlike optimism and joy. Always look on the bright side, see the good in people, and make the most out of life. Life is too short to be serious. Have some fun! The great thing about life is that you never really have to grow up. Sure, you’ll have responsibilities, but you can still remain young at heart. And I think that is the best way to live.
These are the times of our lives… even if you don’t realize it yet. Pretty soon, we are going to be looking back on these days and longing for them just as we look on our past now. We will never get these days back, so I plan on making the most out of them. Hold on to sixteen as long as you can. And always remember: Never Grow Up!