This I Believe

Zack - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 17, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in reading emails.

I believe in the natural progression of growing and maturing. I look forward to growth spurts and developmental milestones. Reading emails is a large stone on that path-an important step towards becoming a mature adult in our computer-oriented society. What constitutes a mature adult? An adult is someone who is responsible for his or her own life. Someone who pays their own bills, controls their own choices, and most of all, reads their own emails. By that definition, I am not an adult. Not even close.

Emails are a unique means of essential communication and impersonal hellos. “Hey Fran, my dog died yesterday.” For me as a teenager, they are a way of scheduling more than anything else. Dates, times, activities and a hodgepodge of other things for me to accomplish are announced with the AOL ding.

I detest reading emails. There is always something to do. Then, there is always something more to do. I am afraid of that more. I ignore my emails and pretend that my to-do list is complete. I hate being mature and managing my own emails and my life. It’s much easier and more convenient to stay in the cocoon of childhood where parents schedule everything. Growing up is hard. Someone else should take care of all my emails and of all my life.

Every weekend, I play multiple soccer games. The matches are always at different places, in different uniforms, and at different times. One particular Sunday, I neglected to check my inbox for fear of the new jobs that might be held within. I assumed my game would be at the same time as the previous week. I had briefly overheard from one of my oh-so-reliable teammates. My designated driver, Dad, credited me with more maturity then I was due. He trusted me when I told him directions.

There were third-graders on the field. We both knew what had transpired without a word. I shouldered my bag and slowly sauntered towards the car. The bag was a little heavier. The game was somewhere else. The coach had communicated. That information was waiting for me in my inbox. I dropped the ball. I prefer to exist in childhood. My dad should have been responsible for my things instead of me. Growing up is too much work.

I am afraid of my emails. Who knows what awaits me? The mature people that I really admire read their emails and are in charge of their adult lives. Managing the hellos, goodbyes, work-related tasks, scheduling, and other minutia in emails is what controlling life has come to. I don’t want to have to do it all. Being responsible for yourself on multiple levels is an important segment of growing and maturing. Controlling my part of the calendar would be a huge move towards maturity.

I believe in reading emails, but I don’t want to read them. I believe in being mature, but I don’t want to run my own life.