GROWING PAINS

You know when you hit a certain age like maybe 11 or something and you get those shooting pains in your legs in the middle of the night because your body is growing too fast for you to keep up with it? Nobody ever tells you that’s a normal thing that happens to everyone it’s terrifying and you think something is wrong with you and you have a life threatening disease or are about to lose your legs or die maybe until you don’t. I think all the more figurative growing pains are pretty much the same. Maybe harder to put up with, more confusing and complicated, less tangible, but the same necessary pains of growth. Nobody tells you that you’ll miss your home town once you finally get out of there, that you’ll forget all of your exes middles names, that nothing matters, or how important it is to do it all anyways. Nobody tells you that your parents are not usually the best role models or that its equally important to learn from their mistakes as their successes, that your teenage brother will cry and hug you one day and you’re supposed to know what to do, that someone in your graduating class will die of a drug overdoes before he’s even 20. Nobody ever tells you that college nights will involve more tears than parties, that you could fail a class even if you are typically a straight A student, or that the earth wont actually crumble when you do. Nobody tells you that hiding from cops isn’t as adventurous and fun as it sounds (it’s kinda scary), nobody will tell you that getting a stick and poke tattoo on your dorm floor is a good idea (its not a good idea but you should still do it for sure) Nobody tells you that it’s not always the guys fault and sometimes you fuck things up for yourself and the new girl he finds actually is better, and when you realize that, nobody ever tells you that it’s ok for that to be true, that being an ugly lonely mess is good for you and exactly who you need to take time to be every so often, to enable yourself to grow, nobody tells you how badly transitions hurt and how growth and learning and time are all the opposite of anything linear. Nobody writes tips and tricks for what to do when your best friend stops being your best friend and there’s a million magazine articles on “how to tell if you’ve found your soul mate” or true love or happiness or whatever but not a single one laying out logical and step by step instructions to follow once you lose all of that. Nobody warns you that your roommate will kiss the boy you wanted to or that you’ll black out one night and kiss the wrong boy or girl …yourself. Nobody tells you that those things aren’t worth hating yourself over. Nobody tells you how everyday will either go by too quickly or too slowly or how “off days” normally last a few days at least or that “off months” are just as common. Nobody tells you that you aren’t the only one who has no idea what you’re doing and that it’s all a little too scary and real for the douchy frat guys and grumpy old professors as it is for you. Nobody warns you not to attach songs to people, not to spend too much money on short lived clothing trends, or to not develop crushes on people you cant touch. Nobody tells you how the earth will end and restart a million times before it feels like a world you want to be living in again and nobody tells you that you will quit and give up and run away from your problems a million times before you finally drag yourself out of bed and make the phone call, write the letter, apply for the job, drive far away, try something new, cut all your hair, jump, face everything head on and finally deal with it, and nobody tells you something will still feel incomplete after you finally “figure it all out” and it’s not because you haven’t, but because you never will, because the only way we can grow and learn and find, make, see, do all the good beautiful things, is if we continue to fuck up and be confused for a little while and it’s so important that we do and its ok that nobody tells us any of that and probably better, because thinking your legs might dismember for a few nights is worth those extra few inches.

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