In elementary school, you learn how to count up to one hundred, and also learn that finger painting is a lot more fun than counting. You make friends with whoever talks to you and find joy in running around the playground in your favorite blue dress. Yet, you find safety and shelter when you come home at the end of the day. Back to the steady rhythm of resting your head on your mothers’ chest, and to the sound of your dad coming home from a late night at work.
In middle school, you learn basic algebra and geography. You are given history lessons on your country’s most brutal wars and study new vocabulary for your English classes. But in middle school, no one ever tells you that people are going to make fun of you for not plucking your eyebrows. In middle school, there is never going to be a class to tell you how to stand up for yourself when thirty other students look at you in disgust. There is no handout sheet available that will tell you how overcome the stress that these three years will bring you.
In high school, you learn geometry and statistics. You get taught the periodic table in chemistry and learn the difference between dominant and recessive genes in biology class. But in high school, there is no chart that will help you navigate your first real crush. There is no teacher that will give you a book to help you through your first breakup. There is no real curriculum on how to love yourself amidst all the raging hormones and anxiety that you will ultimately experience.
And then college comes and after all of this time you still don’t know who the heck you are, who you want to be, what you want to do and where you want to go. You know how to spell words, count numbers and where to place commas, but you don’t know you. And after all of this time and education, I don’t think any of us feel like grownups after all.
We are accused of being too wild, too reckless and too stubborn. We are accused of not seeking safety and instead seeking radical adventures. But maybe sometimes we are too scared to feel like a kid again and are too scared to ask for help or seek refuge. Maybe sometimes we don’t want to run free after all. Maybe we just want to run home. And that’s okay.
It’s okay to go home. It’s okay to throw a tantrum and yell. It’s okay to not feel like an adult even if society tells you that you are one. It’s okay to wish you were still six, and not have a worry in sight.
We are all still kindergarteners searching for a purpose and a safe place to rest our tired heads on at the end of the day. We all still want to feel the warmth of our mother’s chest after our heart splits in two. We all still want so much to be loved, wanted, and understood.