• caedynwheeler

Hold on to 16 as Long as You Can

Day 29

"Holding on to sixteen as long as you can". A line from the classic song Jack and Diane by one John Cougar Mellencamp.

"Being an adult is way better." My dad says, missing the point of the song.

"You're missing the point!" My mother and I say back jokingly, but entirely serious.

"You have way more freedom as an adult!"

"That's not what he's talking about!!"

We had to agree to disagree at the end of the day, but what was the song talking about? I had always understood the line to be relating to the free-spirited nature of adolescence.

My dad's argument:

When you're a child, you are confined to the laws and rules of adults around you. When you're an adult, you have more liberties, more knowledge, more freedom. Every aspect of living is better as an adult. You are your own authority.

My argument:

Look, I get where he's coming from, buuuuut I still disagree. You're not meant to think you should hold on to the confines of childhood rules. Children are gifted with imagination, the perceived freedom, hope, and free-spiritedness outweighs the actual freedoms granted through adulthood.

Adults forget how to smell the flowers because they're always moving forward, trying so hard to stay in control of the direction of life. Kids know how to stop and enjoy life, it's part of their nature.

The responsibilities of adulthood make it easy to lose our original nature. The child is naturally resilient and free. The imagination, joy, free-spirit. Adolescence is where you can choose. Not the bullshit "choose to be happy", but the real choice of appreciating life without being weighed down by it. The entertainment you can find in a boring day. The happiness you can find through sadness.

Embrace your free-spirit as much as possible, and hold on to sixteen as long as you can. ;)

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