Before the walking age, you roll around happily content in the loving arms of those who carry you. There is no need to think about how you get from room to room – tall Giants do that for you. Your life is as simple as the nap filled days you enjoy.
As the age of helmets and two wheels of transportation roll by, freedom is as close as the handlebars you clutch. The biggest worry is whether your school outfit matches, and if your headband is on the trendy list. As the school work becomes progressively harder, so does the longing for acceptance.
When the biggest problem becomes boys and whether your homecoming dress matches another girl’s, you’ve made it to the big kids school. The car you drive, the shoes you wear, and the backpack you own are the representation of you. The mean girls in school make you try harder and push you to your limits. Days either end in tears or in cheers. The winning goal or the brutal outcast for the wrong colored shirt defines the reaction of the day. Just as school bus rolls on- so does life after high school.
Walking onto a campus filled with new faces and new places to hide becomes the stomping grounds for the next four years. The classes get harder and the friend group becomes wider. The biggest obstacles are whether you pass the next exam and if the guy you like will end up at the same party. With a much larger campus, the more people you pass each day. As you form routines and walk the paths that lead to class, the friendly faces become more and more recognizable. As each class is passed and the summers become job filled, the more your closet becomes filled with Blazers and less with t-shirts.
As the job applications start flying out, so do the nickels and dimes that line your inner pockets. Nights become filled with happy hours and late night tv binging. The days are filled with straining necks and furled brows, seeking answers on Google. Fingers trained to find the strokes of keys to finish projects faster. Weekends joined with friends and brunch, with the potential for wreaking havoc.
If we have to grow up, then the defining moments of that first bike ride and the ostracizing for the too bright pink bows shaped who you are today. Each moment strung together like a set of pearls. Linked together into a unique ornament. Each trifling moment that led to tears- made you stronger. Just because we aren’t the cool girls at the table, doesn’t mean that the ponytail we wear high isn’t the height of fashion. The cool kids table will forever be a part of the boat of life we sail- same seas, different part. When you realize the cool kids table isn’t cool at all, you’ll break free of the gelatin mold that binds together the insecure. I would rather wear my bright pink bow binding the sky high ponytail than sit with the Stepford wives. What about you?