You are not alone.

Apparently I’m not the only one who has moments of Peter Pan syndrome. As a kid your problems never last more than a minute “Ouch! Momma I bumped my head!” to an hour “Mom! Joey keeps eating MY crayons!” to a day “All the kids tease me, call me gook and stuff.” Even then, any anxiety is short as comfort is readily available from family “You tell those kids you are not Chinese, your eyes just stretch cause your head’s so fat.” Children are blissfully unaware of their dependence on others and at the same time they have more freedom.

As an adult you strive to make your own choices and grow from being dependent to being depended on. I’ve certainly had my moments like Dawn. I wonder if I should work the long corporate hours, if my own business venture will take off, how Michelle & I will afford our wedding later this year, how the war with Iraq will affect our future, if the North Korean crisis will escalate, sometimes I just wake up angry. But even when I’m the most anxious or distressed I remember to move forward. I draw inspiration from my mother who went back to work making only $25k and raised my sister & I by herself after my father died. I remind myself that everyone is tested in their lifetime. I think of my friend Chris’s brother Craig who became a widower at 38 with two baby girls. I think of Bridget who was raped & shot three times, but still managed to survive & recover. In comparison it’s easier to be the listener and advice-giver than it is to actually lead by example, but I pray with every test God will provide me with the strength I need to be successful.

I had a happy childhood. My parents regardless of their troubles or the state of the world made sure of that. And while they didn’t shelter us from things they made sure that the rough times of moving from place to place, hand-me-down clothes and cheap meals were provided with the same spirit & love as the times of plenty. Despite the economy, pending war, personal anxiety, I get up every morning with a goal, even if it’s just to get through that day.

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3 comments

  • hey a.j.,

    that’s a lovely sentiment, but i would disagree with your statement that “as a kid your problems never last more than a minute.” i would say that depends on the child’s circumstances. certainly being raised in a environment where alcoholism, drug dependency, hunger, abuse, and fear are your primary staples, then i think the problems last minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day, until the child finds a method of escape whether that is by means that will be beneficial to their well-being, or whether that means following in the footsteps of their parents or the lifestyle in which they were raised and perpetuating the cycle of despair.

    i know your comments were meant innocently and lovingly, but i think very often people forget that not EVERY child grows up in a good, safe, happy, healthy, loving environment and that many children are forced to deal with very grown-up issues at an early age.

    oh that we were all able to start on equal footing and that every child received the love and care they need and deserve. it just breaks my heart…xoxo, jared

  • My post was written more in response to what Dawn wrote about feeling out of control and how she wished her life was as simple as her daughter’s.

    I know not everyone is fortunate enough to have a stable family environment. I simply meant that in those moments when everything seems personally directed at me, I take the time to realize there are other people who have similar (and even worse) problems than myself.

  • i know. i just like to be a pain in the ass and split hairs! sorry, it’s just my nature…

    xoxo, jared

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