Growing Up Doesn’t Really Mean Much
Like every adult, I know I have needs. Personal needs. A need for fulfilment. A need for excitement. A need for intellectual stimulation. Sexual needs. Needs for friendship and love. A need for music.
And as time went by, I became such a unique individual that no one other than myself can fully know and satisfy those continuous, complex, arbitrary, and yet essential needs. Paradoxically, I need so many things to survive and keep myself going now as an adult, whereas when I was a baby all I needed was food, shelter, safety, and my parents.
Unfortunately, to my parents I’m still that baby. It’s unimaginable for them to think of me as a grown-up with such complicated needs that only I can fill now, that even surpasses their understanding.
To my parents I’ll always be that baby. They want to protect me. A baby cannot be political. A baby cannot be strong. A baby cannot be independent and tough. Most of all, babies cannot be sexual. In a baby world, that reasonably means the baby will put itself in danger. Parents have every reason to be protective against those things.
That’s why it’ll probably be heartbreaking for my parents to learn everything about me— all that I am, all that I’ve done, all that I now know. It will shatter their world. It will weird them out. It will be like getting to know a stranger.
I’m afraid that they will deny it, and instead of bridging the gap between the baby me and the grown-up me, they will reject the grown-up me. Even if they do accept the grown-up me, I’m worried that they will sadly look back at my baby days with nostalgia, the baby they understand, and long for those days. I’m afraid that they will regret the person I’ve become.
Thinking about these things makes me feel melancholy, a swirling unsettling mix of things I now know and things I’ve felt from the beginning of time. I love them painfully.