It was the last day of school before our mid-terms started. I said goodbye to my friends for the weekend and jumped into the school bus where I found my younger sister waiting for me. I hug her as I settle down in my seat. As we wait amidst the traffic, my sister and I discuss our day at school. My account consists of the stressful tests and assignments that never seem to end. This contrasts with my sister’s short summary of the day – “We played with LEGOs and learned how to paint.” I sat there in envy hearing the phrase, comparing it to my circumstance.
The clutter of never-ending stressful thoughts and emotions has made my mind hazy and it's been the same ever since I “grew up”. To be honest, I don’t even know when that happened. It’s hard to see a clear path as the days go by. Everyone says they’re in the same boat, but the boat manifests differently for each individual. Travelling on a cruise is sure to be a smoother ride than on a motorboat, even if the distance traversed is the same.
I guess Science is right about the teenage years being the most unstable in human development. The changes we face internally do no justice to the external ones that take place simultaneously. A world of imagination was shown to me as a toddler and a child, the stars were at the tip of my palm each time I looked out of the window at night. But today, failing one Math exam rules out any and all chances of my future plans I aim to achieve.
Later that weekend, it was Sunday evening and I was awake earlier than usual to do some last-minute revision for my Accounting exam which was scheduled to be the next day. As I entered amounts on my calculator and started ticking off MCQ answers, I heard my sister’s faint whimpering cries from under her comforter. I left my revision and hurriedly approached her and asked her what happened, she sniffled and muttered that she had a bad dream – “I dreamt that all my favorite biscuits that I take to school every day ran out and I have none to take any more”. I sighed and rubbed the tears off her face and thought to myself: "When was the last time I had a worry this trivial?"
Worrying is like a parasite, it replicates and grows until it drains away life from its host. If the worry of a six-year-old is biscuits, and the worry of a sixteen-year-old is their academic future, clearly the worry of a thirty-year-old will be life-altering.
I don’t want to grow up. I want time to stop so I can find a way to get back in time.