I didn’t have plans to post today but this poem has been banging around in my head all afternoon so I finally decided to get it out. I oftentimes feel like your twenties are such an awkward age because you’re old enough to have it all together, yet too young to know how. It seems to make me feel out-of-place a lot of the time. I tend to feel as though everyone around me expects that I have everything all figured out, but then they continue to act as if I’m not old enough to be an adult. I get shaded glances when I act young, then receive concerned stares if I seem to be acting too old. This poem tries to explain some of that.
I put my apple juice in a wine glass today because I was told it was time to grow up.
I watched myself through dead eyes and with heavy heartbeats as you said the fun was over.
My Peter Pan dreams were wistfully circling through my overcrowded brain stuffed with work schedules and next weeks appointments as I slowly forgot what it felt like to be young.
I felt your suffocating pressure to leave behind my joy filled dreams and light-hearted smiles only to replace them with black and white pictures of cube farms and styrofoam coffee cups.
I’ll go home and smash my mugs that are painted with colors and styled in odd shapes.
I’ll take off my yellow sunshine dress and don a sensible skirt.
I’ll die a little each and every day.
Today I took out my yellow dress. Today I drank my coffee from a bright red mug.
Today I decided that you have to grow old, but you don’t have to grow up.
I will dream of adventures and never wear a sensible skirt.
You see, we are jaded by the thought that we have to stop having fun. We are told that adulthood should feel like an ever-present noose that is slowly tightening until we are dead.
I think growing old should feel like warm rays and freshly cut grass.
I think each new candle that is added to a birthday cake should be more like turning young again.
I will not listen to those who say I should act less childish because children are the best of all of us.
In fact, I will endeavor to be like those children who do not judge or discriminate or hold prejudice.
I will bask in gaining another candle and turn to those who listened to the instructions that said grown ups are no fun only to tell them that it’s happier here.
I will grow old, but I will not grow up.
I put my apple juice in a wine glass today. It felt like being young.