Where Does Growing up Go Wrong?

Then into your life, there comes a darkness
And a spacecraft blocking out the sky
And there’s nowhere to hide
You run to the back and you cover your ears
But it’s the loudest sound you’ve ever heard [1]

Radiohead

It’s weird. I mean, as small children, we’re truly vulnerable to life. We don’t know how to talk, walk, or take care of ourselves. We rely completely on other people for everything, and we have no clue on how the future looks like – more than ever! We just started, so there are an entire person to make and an entire life to live.

What if we don’t make it? It sounds quite terrifying. Yet, while kids, our hearts don’t race, we sleep well, our stomachs are fine, we don’t avoid things (far from it!), our hands don’t shake, we breath properly, and our chest doesn’t feel tight. At least, not out of the blue.

We find no panic on living, even that we don’t really know anything. We don’t feel overwhelmed about what’s going to happen, and if we do, the thought of it will just come and go – it won’t turn into an obsession.

As we grow, however, we begin knowing a lot. We get aware of things, sometimes too much. Plus, if something is unknown to us, it isn’t hard to get to know it. We get less vulnerable to life, in a sense.

Still, sometimes it feels like all this knowledge and awareness only make us yet more vulnerable to everything, as if something went wrong as we were growing up. It’s even possible that we get so lost in the thought of life itself that we completely forget to live it – a thing a kid wouldn’t ever do.

Well, at least we don’t have an adult’s head while we’re children. If we did, I guess we’d be afraid of everything in such a way that’d never let us really grow up, so we’d only grow old.


  1. There are things we inevitably get to know in life that disrupts us, and the more we run away from them, the more monstrous they become. This excerpt from Radiohead's Decks Dark sums up this thought wonderfully. ↩︎

Tags: personal