Don’t Grow Up Just Yet

Don’t grow up just yet.

It seems like yesterday, I was five, hearing my grandmom telling me this for the first time. Now look at me—I’m 18 at the movies with my family.

Don’t grow up just yet.

But time has passed me by. One minute I was running after our designated stray cat at three, and now I’ve a few months left till I leave home.

Don’t grow up just yet.

But no one’s told me how to stop the clock, to freeze this moment in time. The sand’s slipping from my hand, and I can’t pick it up again.

Don’t grow up just yet.

But I’ve evolved. I’m no longer that quiet bookworm, hoping to find somewhere to belong. Now I’m still a bookworm, but I’m more comfortable alone. My bubble is unpoppable. So please leave me alone.

Don’t grow up just yet.

But I can’t even remember a good time. My memories have long been buried somewhere deep inside my mind.

Don’t grow up just yet.

But I can’t distinguish fiction from life. I’m halfway in this world, my mind elsewhere at all times.

Don’t grow up just yet.

But the clock’s still ticking away. Time waits for no man or woman—it’s stringing me along. So much to do, so little hours, a long list of ambitions, all waiting to go right or wrong.

Don’t grow up just yet.

But now it’s time to decide. There’s a fork in the road, so many paths, so many different versions of my life.

Don’t grow up just yet.

But ma, life’s just going on. Why can’t I rewind, and go back to five, when I was younger, with not much going on?

Don’t grow up just yet.

But I didn’t have a choice. I wanted to grow up so fast, I didn’t spend enough time living in what has now passed.

Don’t grow up just yet.

But I have—with no regrets at that. One foot out the door, my head in the clouds, no navigation, no map.

Don’t grow up just yet.

But I’m still a child at heart. Just with responsibilities, and things weighing down on me. I’m not that different, not many worlds apart.

Don’t grow up just yet.

I didn’t want to, I swear. But life does what it wants, and I’m in for the ride.

Don’t grow up just yet.

If I could stop it, I would. Maybe I’d be forever four. Maybe forever two.

Don’t grow up just yet.

But there’s no stopping me now. I’ve exited one stage of life, ma, and now I’ll make you proud.