As the wise George Bernard Shaw once said, “youth is wasted on the young.”
You better believe it is.
It’s my birthday month (all gifts and monetary donations can be directed to the newsroom. I enjoy cake, too). And, as the big 21 approaches, I’ve realized that growing up isn’t as fun as they said it would be.
Just between you and me, things are going downhill.
I’m not as young and spry as I used to be, kiddies. My joints are constantly cracking. Last week, I went to lift my leg up into dancer’s pose (something I used to do on a daily basis when I was a wee bit more flexible), and I thought EMS was going to have to cart me off to the ER. I can’t bounce back as quickly from those all-nighters like I did at the tender age of 18. I’m turning into a cranky old lady.
Before you know it, I’m going to be screaming at those young whipper-snappers to get off my lawn.
During my morning ritual the other day, when I put on my make-up and watch myself transform from “zombie” to “Disney princess,” I pulled out a chunk of gray hair from my luscious locks. I’m not talking about one meager strand. I’m not even talking two. It was an entire clump.
I could’ve made a wig for a miniature grandma doll.
I can’t even count the number of times I almost vomited this week when I realized the good ol’ senior class is leaving in a month. Forever. Gone. Poof.
Someone fetch my inhaler.
Then I’m going to be a senior. And then I’m going to have to be a big girl – or a cranky old lady.
And now, I’m allegedly the top dog of this publication you’re reading. When the heck did that happen? Wasn’t it always the older people who got this position? Oh, wait…
And what about those babies who’ll step foot on campus this fall? I just want to pinch their cheeks. Hold on, that’s weird.
I actually thought I hallucinated when I saw John Carroll adorned with “Welcome Class of 2018” signs during the new student celebration. 2018? Isn’t the world supposed to be run by robots then?
Welcome to my wake up call.
My life is flashing right before my eyes before you can say AARP.
I rue the day when “5-year-old me” got down on my hands and knees and prayed to go into the grown-up world as soon as possible. (I’m pretty sure the main reason behind this act of desperation was so I could wear high heels in public.)
I’ve never been one for change. Actually, change happens to be one of my biggest irrational fears in life. Sure, I enjoy a challenge. Yet, I can’t help but relish in the comfort of stability.
Now, as I’ve scheduled my senior year of classes, more and more people are asking the dreaded question, “So, what’s next?” I can’t help but feel a bit on edge.
Sometimes, “5-year-old me” just wants to rebel.
Here’s what it would look like: “I don’t know what’s next, so stop asking me. I don’t want to grow up. I want my mommy. Just give me my applesauce, mac and cheese and juice box, and let me watch “Aladdin” over and over again in peace as I hug my stuffed monkey.”
This, of course, would be accompanied by sobs and high-pitched squeals.
But, at the end of the day, you have to pull yourself together.
I have no idea what’s going to happen in five years; or next year; or even tomorrow.
My life can entirely change for the better – or the worse.
That’s the best thing about life – and the worst. It’s unpredictable. It’s exciting. It’s scarier than that part in “Jaws” when you hear the creepy music.
Sure, you spill your cookies on the way. But, it’s like all great rides: there are hills, bumps and smooth roads.
In the end, all you can do is sit back, relax, take a deep breath and let life take you for the ride.