So, as it turns out, I might be a tad sensitive [I prefer emotive: makes me sound like an artist]. I can admit I have cried at commercials, made for TV movies, and terrible pop-country songs. So someone like me saying “Dude. __________ totally makes me cry.” might not qualify it as truly, universally sad. However, there is one storyline that gets me every time. Peter [flipping] Pan. Gah.
That story/every adaptation of it makes me cry-without fail-on every encounter. It’s like being hit by a Poignant Throwing Star. It just comes at me with Truth and Warming-of-the-Heart on every side. It happens so fast. And before I know it. . . BOOM. It’s lodged in there, and it gets to me. I am a weepy mess before those kids fly past the First Star to the Right.
Peter Pan is the fast train to Cry Town because it is a Double-Edged sword of Sad.
Peter is happy being a boy, but we know he is missing the joys of adulthood: family, relationships, renting a car, the satisfaction of knowing you ordered and paid for (and can now eat) a delivered pizza, all on your own. He will never know what it’s like to get older. To learn more. To strengthen and weaken, to overcome new obstacles.
And Wendy? She leaves Peter behind. And childhood. No more pirates and face paint. No more food fights or mermaids. No more endless strings of carefree days. Like the boys of Neverland, in her own way, part of her is lost.
for the first time in years, I am starting a job. It is part-time. But it in my field. That, and some other circumstances lining up just so, are allowing me to [at the same time] move back out of my folks’ house and in to my own place. I suppose it can be as true for blessing as it is for hardship: when it rains, it pours.
Tonight, it hit me. I am thrilled about this new set of responsibilities (and opportunities to grow and become more ‘myself’). But I am also scared to death. It is the first time in a while I have felt like I don’t know what to expect, like people are counting on me, like now-more than ever-I am going to have to fend for myself. And there is joy in that, in continuing to ‘grow up’. There is exhilaration and freedom there. But there is also fear and mourning.
In a matter of days, my whole outlook seems like it has been turned upside down. My college life, my teenage years, and the days of never having to worry about a good dinner [since mom is cooking] seemed so far away. Like another life. The past is an age away. The present is uncertain. And the future I spent so many years hoping, praying and searching for finally seems to be around the corner. The jarring part is, even at close range, I have no idea what it looks like.
Perhaps the biggest irony of growing up is that I am afraid to do it. Here I am, trembling on a new threshold, anxious in every way. And all the time, the child in me is strong and defiant. She tosses her hair, puffs out her chest. She taps her toes impatiently and scoffs at my cowardice, as if to say “What’s your problem? It’s only an adventure.”