This I Believe

Anna - Arlington, Virginia
Entered on September 21, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change, children

This I Believe essay Anna Riddick

Writing 9/14/06

SOL 11.7

When I was about four or five years old, everything came down to a game. I had an extremely active imagination, and so I was never bored. Life was simple-playing with the neighbors I grew up with, and naps in the afternoon. The days ran together, but there was still a certain security that came with the monotonous schedule.

Soon after that, school started; life started. The expectations held for me were no longer just to enjoy myself. I was expected to read, write, and interact with kids that I had never met before.

When I think about the carefree days, the thing that I miss the most is the innocence of that era of my life. The only fights to be had were who got which toy, or who got to swing on the swing set. Now, people fight about anything from political issues to who’s hooking up with who. It seems like this new life, though I am used to it by now, was thrust upon me.

I saw a friend I grew up and used to play with recently. I hadn’t seen him in a few years. I guess we didn’t interact as well as we used to because of all the years and changes that had separated us. I thought about joking and saying something to the effect of “I bet you still scream like a girl,” but I couldn’t because those days are gone. I’m not naïve enough to think that they’ll ever come back, though. In fact, my responsibilities are only going to increase as my life goes on.

So here I am, caught in between wanting to move on with my life, yet still missing how things used to be. The only thing I can hope for, I guess, is that I never lose that carefree spirit. You can look at some adults and just tell that they haven’t grown up quite yet. People might look down on that, but I respect it. When I have children, I want to be able to help out their imagination with my own.

Physically growing up changes everyone, but your heart only grows up as fast as you let it. This, I believe.