The canonical definition might be the process that turns a child into an adult, or perhaps the time between birth and adulthood. The process is said to involve learning and getting more mature, but often involves such abuses as school, siblings, and television.

Some never grow up, and some grew up too fast. Some are just struggling for a happy medium.
I wrote this in my journal, regarding the summer past (about growing up):
This not a poem.

I am someone different then I was two months ago.
I am Aimee Ault.
I do not obsess over the German guy any longer.
I am the uncanny, but I also know how to be human.
I have learned how to cry, and when to cry.
I have discovered that love is worth fighting for if you really believe in it.
I have been part of the work force.
I have found that labor is indeed tiring.
I have kissed and been kissed.
I have lost friendships to things that I can not control, and I've understood why it is not my fault.
I've taken responsibility for that which I know is wrong.
I've confronted that which scares the hell out of me.
I've felt what it's like to be emotionally empty and I have questioned that.
I've listened before taking my side.
I learned to trust my parents.
I learned to confide in them when it came my time.
I learned that sometimes the thing you're looking for the most is right there under your nose.
I asked myself the Questions to Ask Yourself On The Way to Self Discovery. I made promises to myself that for once, I was able to keep.
I respected not what I was told to respect, but what I thought deserved it.
But above all, I've become the girl I want to be, not the person that everyone mistook me for.

Growing Up

The days between childhood lawns
(weed-grown grasses)
And uptight fences
(nettles cut precisely)
They deflate the adventurers of time.

Part of the Poetry in Motion at project.
<< pred vext >>

When I was younger, I just couldn’t wait to grow up. I couldn’t wait to leave home, to have my next birthday, to graduate high school. The idea of being free to be myself was like this great shining star in front of me, and I wanted to hurry up the process and gain it for myself. And now, that star is just inches from my grasp…

And I don’t want it anymore.

I’ve heard countless people tell me that it’s time to grow up and that it’s time to forget about the childhood day dreams, to forget about climbing trees, and leave behind the safety net of family.

I don’t want to. I’m scared shitless of growing up and moving away into a world that doesn’t have to love me, that won’t pick me up when I fall. It hurts that my family won’t be there anymore the moment I set foot out of my door for good, and it hurts more that the only places teens can get to live around here are 600$ a month and we’re lucky if we make that much. It hurts that people look down on teens sometimes just because they made a bad decision.

It all makes me understand why kids my age go out partying. They do it because it may be the last time they get the chance. Some do it because it helps ease the pain of the realization that one day they’ll have to settle down and be as boring as their parents are now. But I still wonder sometimes why growing up has to be so much like throwing a 5 year old into a pool to make them learn how to swim.

Why don't you try to figure out who you are before making assumptions about who I am? I think that we both know that growing up isn't about changing, it's about coping. It's about staying the same when you're going over bridges and through valleys. It's about holding yourself together, and it's about learning to love yourself.

That's what my friend Melissa wrote in my yearbook at the end of high school, “I love you so much you have no idea. Love yourself.” And I love her too, still, because it hasn't been that long since we kissed and confided, since we were close like family. Sometimes it takes your own love for another to realize that you must love yourself too, sometimes that's the only thing that can make it real. Thank God that Melissa loves me, she is a blessing and a friend.

I should write her a letter. We're both a lot older now, it seems, but not in years. Everything in my mind is measured in what has come and gone, and that bears no quantitative chronology. Because many things pass, and many things change, and they affect me—but I am still the same. I have different memories and new lost loves to reminisce over, I have finally learned the joy of a long term partner and sex, I have found that so very many things around me have transformed and they have put new thoughts in me. But it is still me, it is still the boy in middle school wearing black plastic bracelets, it is still the creative boy who isn't very good at soccer and so they won't let him play. Still the baby who cried over a burned gingerbread man.

It's a good thing because I think if I were really changing, that would be very difficult. Because, you know, I can't even handle staying the same. I wrote in a poem the other day, “I can't pull myself together and that's liberation.” At least it is me that is always falling apart and coming together. At least it is me who I love and hate and all of that. I am lucky to have only one identity.

It's not that I want to see others hurt, but I need to take care of myself, too. That takes time, and I am so grateful for your patience. I love you so much you have no idea. Love yourself.

Staying the Same, for Melissa, with loving gratitude.

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