As a kid, I hated wearing socks and shoes. I don’t know why; I know I used to be super sensitive if the hemmed side of the sock happened to be on the bottom of my foot or anywhere near it, but that wasn’t the reason I hated them. I used to go barefoot everywhere, and when I say everywhere, I mean it. My mom used to fight me to put on my shoes to go to the store. I’d run outside on the street, through the grass, even on gravel barefoot, and I had the time of my life. There were kids in my neighborhood (and some have since moved), but we used to come out at about 10 PM to play hide-and-go-seek tag in the dark. Of course, there were rules. One, if there was a car coming, you had to warn the others; two, we live in a townhome complex, so no going behind the rows of houses; and three, if anyone suspicious walks or drives by, avoid them or go inside. These were simple, though, and my friend’s dad was always outside playing with us, so we had nothing to worry about. I remember those nights, and at the end of our game, generally around midnight, I’d invite my friend to spend the night, and she always said yes. She lived in the house connected to mine on the right. We’d stay up doing something stupid every night, and if it were summer, in the morning, we’d go to the pool. She moved recently, we haven’t talked for a while, so I guess it wasn’t very hard. Those nights will always live in my head. I hated wearing shoes, though, because I wanted to do what I wanted to do. Responsibilities had no existence in my brain. I wanted to be free to make my own decisions even if they weren’t very smart.
While shoes weren’t my forte; dressing up certainly was. As a young toddler, I liked to have tea parties outside on the ground in my dress-up clothes. I’d come in through the basement door and up the stairs covered in mud and dirt. My hair would be jumbled, and my dress would have brown blotches all around it. I always had fun, though, and my mom would get a kick out of it. I’d have to take a shower, and my mom would brush through my hair. I always liked it when my mom would brush my hair. It was very relaxing.
It was during those toddler years that my life changed trajectory, and my parents divorced. Growing up in a house with divorced parents wasn’t always easy. My dad used to live near us, but he lives about an hour away now. I’ve always felt a lot of responsibility to make sure both of my parents are ok. I’m not as worried about my dad now that he’s remarried, but I always worry about my mom. She set her relationship life aside to take care of me, and I will always be grateful for that. I think I’m speaking for all children of divorced parents when I say that. Your parents could be the nicest people, you could have no problems with either of them, but going between houses is so emotionally draining.
Throughout the past several years, growing from childhood to teen, music has been a big part of my life. It used to help me stop crying or calm down after being a kid and freaking out over something small. Now, I’m in band. Music has played a significant role in my well-being. Like I said earlier I’m very independent and I appreciate alone time. After school or just at random points throughout the weekend I go upstairs to my room and I listen to music. Alone. I know it’s weird that instead of being with people to make me happy I spend time alone, but time to sit in my thoughts and unwind, without anyone telling me what to do or listening to people’s opinions, that’s what makes me happy.
That happiness-in-independence seems to be one of my mainstays. As a child, I was a do-it-yourself person. If someone couldn’t help me accomplish my task, then I saw no reason why I couldn’t do it alone. For instance, I used to have bangs. I hated them with all my heart, and I wanted them gone. I asked my mom if she would help me cut my bangs off, she said no, so I did it myself. While I see myself as an independent being, I also see myself being dependent on reassurance and others’ help. I ask only once for help from someone, and if the few people I ask for help from cannot help me, then I do it myself, but that’s only if I need help. If I don’t need help, then I go straight to the do it myself. I like working alone best, I work better independently, and I don’t like things sitting on my back to finish. If I work with people, it’s easy for me to get distracted, leaving me with work to do later. I think it’s best to stay free of workloads and have a more comfortable life ahead of me than in the very short present.
In comparison, I’m officially at the legal driving age, I do need an adult in the car with me, but once I get the hang of it, it’s not just empty parking lots for me. I’m very excited; I’ll soon be able to go wherever I want, within reason. I’ll be able to go through a drive-through or a gas station; I’ll get groceries, I can do all the boring adult stuff, which is exciting. I want to hang on to that excitement. Most adults get tired just by thinking about having to get gas or go to the store, but right now, in my childish mindset, I find it independently exciting. Responsibilities and how we look at them change as we age. My mom told me once how when I was little, and I said that I’d love homework forever…yeah, no. Just like that, I know my excitement for doing adult-ish things on my own will fade. It’s nice to feel excited about something, though. Sometimes that excitement can be hard to find.
As a kid, I had a lot of anxiety and OCD, and I still have many issues with that, but I never really knew what it was, so there was no way to describe it to talk to someone about it. I went for a while trapped by these feelings and not expressing them, so I’d write poems or make up songs about it to put it into a description I could get out. Maybe I wanted a “normal” life without all this tension, OCD, anxiety, and even a little depression, or perhaps I just wanted someone to understand so I could be free of those feelings. I see now that it’s almost become a trend to be depressed or anxious in our generation. I don’t think it’s right that it’s become such a common thing among our age, but I also weirdly think it’s a good thing. I believe we’re kinder and not quick to judge. It’s a lot easier to be more open to something when you have gone through personal struggles, and right now, everyone’s gone through a personal battle. Looking past these battles and seeing who a person is, is essential and is an excellent skill to grow with. It’s oddly liberating to be so limited in the things we can do, feel, say, have, that in the end, bring us together. I guess those socks and shoes just want to hold us back from making the stupid decisions of independence.