I can remember going to my mother the eve of my thirteenth birthday quite upset. Tearfully, I told her that I didn’t want to be a teenager. I didn’t want to grow-up.
Needless to say, my mother had no idea what to do with that. What kid doesn’t want to grow up? That’s what every kid wants. They want to big. They want to be older. They want to do whatever the adults are doing because the adults get to do whatever they want!
And I wanted to stay a kid. Baffling to say the least.
The truth is I’m a late bloomer. Intellectually, I was ahead of many of my peers, but emotionally, I was behind. This gap has caused some problems. I’ve lived that line, “Old enough to know better, but still too young to care.” The trouble is that it’s not as fun as it sounds. Well, most of the time. What I mean is that I know where I’m supposed to be emotionally, how I should be behaving and responding to things, but my emotions are too far behind to respond correctly. And by the time I get my emotions to the level they’re supposed to be, my age has moved on to a greater level.
It’s frustrating. It’s one of those things that I can’t so much work on as cope with. I’ve learned to accept that I am just slow on the uptake when it comes to certain aspects of my life. At this point, I figure the emotional maturity gap to be about five to seven years behind my actual age. Sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on the situation.
Now, let’s not confuse this with wisdom. I’ve been told most of my life that I’m wise beyond my years. My friends often come to me with their problems because I’m so good at sorting things out and finding a solution. I’m very good with knowledge and logic. I do so well with them because my emotions aren’t a factor.
When it comes to acting and reacting, to coping and dealing with my own feeling and my own heart, I’m a sloppy mess of a person because I know what I should do and how it should go, and yet, it doesn’t. I should be beyond certain reactions. I’m still waiting for those knee-jerk reactions and flashes of anger and giddy butterflies to mature. In the meantime, I struggle to make them behave beyond their years. It doesn’t always work.
I hope one day things even out and my emotions catch up to the rest of me, but until then, I’ll deal.
At least I stopped pushing the boys I liked into mud puddles.
Three years ago.