Children

We never grow up. Not really. I squeeze the liquid soap bottle and watch the light dance off tiny glistening bubbles. They surround me as they make a slow, swirling descent through the small kitchen. I’ve always thought those bubbles were wondrous. I thought I would grow up, and do so many incredible things, but I can’t remember what they were now. I learned to hide those hopes from the world, because hiding them was expected of me. I hid them by convincing myself I could have them later, by convincing myself that it was all ahead of me. We don’t cry in public, because we tell ourselves we can do it later, in private. But later is too late, and so we never cry at all, even if we need to.

Sometimes I feel like giving up. Like crawling into bed under all the covers and letting myself cry all I want. Sometimes I try, but I find that I just can’t bring myself to do it. It always feels a bit too much like a ridiculous luxury. When I was a kid, I cried all the time and never felt ridiculous about it. There was always someone there to fix it. But now I have to be the one to fix it for myself.  There’s no one to cry to. Crying is wasteful.

So I remind myself of the incredible things I have already seen and done, of all that I have and my incredible fortune. I remind myself of all the wondrous things still out there, that I just have to reach for. I remind myself that no one can realize those hopes for me. It takes work and dedication.  And so I set about carving a weaving path through life, and even if it looks like the squiggly lines of bark beetles at the end, at least it will have been my own.

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