Childhood

Life was so much simpler when I wasn’t in charge of making my own decisions.

The other day in the mail, I received an American Girl Doll Catalog. I looked at it in shock – it’s been at least eight years since I’ve gotten one, and I sort of wondered why I was getting one. So, being curious, I flipped through it and settled in to marvel over the new dolls, the pretty clothes, and the wonders that is childhood. I found myself marveling about all those years I spent playing with my sister, and finally got into my closet to pull out my old Molly doll. She still has the same smile, the same hair style she did when I put her away eight years ago, and the same little mark on her neck from when I dropped her.

Legally, I am an adult. Childhood, the days of messing around and giggling at sleepovers and having Mom and Dad to bail me out, is gone. While I will always be somewhat of a child (I like laughing and creating far too much to leave it behind), it’s strange to think that soon, I will be completely responsible for myself. It’s a frightening future, because I don’t want to disappoint anyone. I would much rather make someone mad than disappoint them. And I fear that once I step out from the shelter of my parents, I will disappoint them completely when I make a wrong decision.

I suppose this is why I want to be a teacher so much. I want a way to hold on to my childhood and creativity while still maintaining my maturity. I get to hang out with teenagers all day (yes, they’re angsty, but you have to love them) and help them figure out their transition between childhood and adulthood. It’s such a scary time for everyone, and I think having someone with you that’s been through it is essential to becoming an adult.

Still, it terrifies me. How am I going to make a budget? How am I going to find a reasonably priced apartment? What happens if I can’t find a roommate? How am I going to pay for food every week? What happens if I forget to pay my electricity bill? The questions are endless, and I add more to them every day. I’m a naturally anxious person, so when I think about things like this, I get anxious and worried and start pulling my hair out and –

It’s not pretty.

But then I realize that I don’t have to have all the answers. I will always have a part of my childhood buried somewhere within me to pull out and ponder on. I have a great network of friends and family that will be there to tell me when I’m being just plain stupid or when I need to get my act together, or even just to tell me I’m doing a great job and to not stress out. Strange, how easy you can forget something like that. :)

Food for thought: What did/do you do when you got/get stressed out about the future?

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