Me and my husband were driving home, listening to one of our favorite stations on the radio. We had just finished grabbing a bite to eat and running some errands.
(p.s. One of those errands was buying a Christmas sweater for our puppy….it’s glorious!)
In the dark, as headlights passed by us on the interstate, likes lots of moving, twinkle lights; dark had settled over the city and the one I love was holding my hand.
Then the opening notes to our favorite song: Wake Up by Arcade Fire. Immediately, we turned up the volume and started singing as loud as we possibly could. It’s particularly special to me because it was in the trailer of one of my all-time favorite movies: Where The Wild Things Are. The movie mainly focuses on the times that you are faced with the hardship and ugliness of this world as a child. When you realize that life isn’t fair, that people hurt and they hurt a lot. It’s a very moving story of learning to grow up.
For some reason, on this night, the words of this song resonated with me more than they ever have in my life. I’ve struggled with many thoughts and changes in the past few years; I’ve been forced to grow up as I never have before. And just recently I’ve realized how much growing up scares me.
It’s not the responsibilities, it’s the heart-ache and hardships. Friends leaving; some for now and some for good. Families moving away. Deaths and birth and love and life: raw, gritty, scary and despairingly beautiful life.
And when that line came up, and I was singing at the top of my lungs with my husband, my heart caught in my chest and I had to fight a momentary lump in my throat.
“Children don’t grow up, our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up…”
That’s where I am. Beneath the facade of being a wife and a mature 23 year old, underneath it all, there’s a kid. A kid that’s afraid of messing up, a kid not knowing how to handle life and all the pain that comes with it but having to handle it anyway.
I’m scared to grow up and my life is on the brink of so many more changes that frighten me.
But I saw this quote once and it really encouraged me.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela
Life isn’t fair and it’s scary. But what beauty there is in it! And I’d take all the heartache in the world just to experience a few of the precious moments it has to offer.