Weight of the World

When I was a kid my best friend and I were gymnasts.  Her mom was a stay at home mom to three and most of the other parents had to work so she always ended up being the carpool go to person.  She picked us up, and dropped us off at daily practice and hosted many a slumber parties and camping trips.  We seemed to spend a lot of time in the car.  I'm not sure why I remember the things that I do but I still have this image of her driving with one hand on the wheel and the other hand holding up her head while her arm rested on the door with her elbow just slightly sticking out of the window.   She sighed a lot and often looked sad and tired.  Just looking at her like that you got the sense that the weight of the world was on her shoulders.  I remember clearly thinking to myself with the innocence of a child that I would never be that way.  As a kid sitting in the back seat chatting with my gym buddies I had no comprehension of the menagerie of worries she could possibly be struggling with and simply could not understand what could make someone appear so beaten down.  How could I?  Childhood is such a wonderful little bubble of joy.  I was young, full of energy and had no responsibilities beyond household chores and going to school.  My biggest worry was if I would get my back handspring on beam or if my dad would let me go to Disneyland with the other girls. 

As an official adult for the last sixteen years I know better now.  I can think of a million things that could have caused the sadness in her eyes and the weariness in her face.  I often times find myself assuming that same pose with my head in my hand on my way home from a long day of work.  A worried head racing with thoughts of this or that.  Funny how that is.  I know now what I couldn't begin to know back then.  As we grow older our world broadens and along with that comes a million other things that make us grow up and make us grown ups.  Some things we like, and some we don't but we don't get to pick and choose.   I remember the excitement of going off to college, the thrill of ordering my first drink in a bar and the pride of moving out into my first apartment on my own after college.  I remember how excited and responsible I felt when I got my first "big girl" job with salary and benefits.  Along with each step comes things that need resolving, bills that need to be paid and obligations that need to be tended to.  It goes on and on with each new milestone.

Life can be as hard as it is rewarding.  I know that I've not seen the worst it has to offer and can't complain too much but there are days when I just can't see that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel and my inner demons threaten to knock me down.  Moments where I feel tired and worn out by the day to day struggle of making it and figuring out where I fit in.  Times that I wonder where I went wrong and what, oh what can I do to fix it now. 

So what do we do?  We keep going because as grown ups that's what we are supposed to do.  We hold on tight to the good things and do our best to fend off the bad.  We gather strength and joy from the ones we love.  We keep working, growing, and learning.  We bask in delight wherever it finds us, because surely and thankfully it will.  We do this because life can be hard but it is still good.


Lil' Woman said...

So a true post!
When your a kid you don't ever realize the 'real' stuff adults are going through.

chelsea said...

wow, powerful and beautiful post girl!

Carla said...

I loved this post and I can totally relate. After reading your entry all I could remember was my mom saying, "Just wait until you get older and you'll see." Stress and I are well acquainted but I'm getting better with dealing with it.

As you mentioned, life comes equipped with the Good and the Bad. But the day you learn how to deal with the bad to appreciate the good is a wonderful one!

Ameena said...

If I only knew back then what I know now...every single day is a battle of worrying about 100 things! It's so hard to be an adult. It really is. I miss those carefee days so much.

Great post. It's puts things into perspective really nicely.

Faith said...

what a great post! you are so right ... as a child you are in this incredible bubble where nothing is wrong with the world, as it should be for all children ... what a great post to remember that life can be hard sometimes but it is always great to be here, great to be alive, great to live!

have a fabulous weekend!

Amy said...

I relate to this post 100%. Wow I have tears in my eyes thinking of how true this is. Childhood was so sweet and carefree and while adulthood has been good too, it's difficult trying to juggle so many things at once that I too probably have moments where I appear tired and sad.

Dancy said...

Sometimes I wish I had a time machine, just go back for a bit & appreciate how carefree it was. Sometimes I get bogged down too because I think - man, if it's this hard now, what's it going to be like when we have kids?? But you're right - I just keep plugging on & remember that everything's going to be ok. It sounds really cheezy, but I think we have to suffer through the rough times to truly appreciate the better ones.