To a Kid . . .

I see you. . .
It wasn’t so long ago that I was you. But yet, I have to correct myself here. I have to correct myself because I was never you and you were never me. We are both entirely different people. I was much younger once. I can say this for sure.
I was certainly much younger than I am now. I was once a different person and in my former life. I thought differently. I lived differently and viewed things through different eyes. I was perhaps misled, but yet, I was still me. I was raw. I was unsure, frustrated, afraid of so much and yet I was brave enough to dare the world (if I had to).

I wanted to be free. I wanted to run. I wanted to live my life without someone telling me what to do or suggesting, “You’re just a kid,” as if this somehow invalidates me as a person. I wanted to be free of all the bullshit. And I get it. I’m a grownup, so I’m not supposed to speak this way. But to hell with it. Let’s be honest between us.

For some reason, there is a canceling argument here. What I mean is telling someone, “You’re just a kid” is a statement that somewhat cancels them as a person. But last I checked, you are a person. You have ideas and feelings. By saying “You’re just a kid” this somehow voids thought. This leads to the ideas of being invalid; as if age and adulthood are the only true editor of experience. But wait, this is not true.

Our age does not make us as different as we think. Circumstances can only imply difference, which means people can learn from each other. We can both learn, no matter how old we are. (Or how young.) Life is life at any age. Our core is still our core. All that changes with age is our influence, our intentions, motivation and our incentives. That’s it.

Kids feel too. We all do.

I see you. I hear what you say because I listen.
I want to learn from you. I want you to teach me.
I want you to teach me but please, I want you to understand that by placing me in a category is no different from me placing you in a category.

No one likes to be told they don’t understand. No one likes to hear, “You don’t get it!”
By the way, I’m not saying I understand. I’m not saying that I get it either.
I’m just saying that I see you. I’m telling you that I notice. I’m telling you that I want to learn and that the same as you don’t want to hear, “You’re just a kid, you don’t know any better,” I don’t like hearing, “You’re just an adult. You don’t know what it’s like to be a kid anymore.”

The fact is yes. You’re a kid. I’m an adult
I get that.

I understand that telling someone “You’re just a kid” is not helpful. I mention this to repair the rift between us. I say this because there was an answer that I had when this was said to me.
I had my stock responses.
“What do you know? You’re just a kid!”
I’d answer back, “Well what do you know? You’re old!”
There’s something to this, by the way. This sense of othering each other is far from helpful. All this does is point out the fact that we are on two different sides of the table. All this does is drive us apart instead of pull us together. 

I’ve listened to you. I hear what you’re saying. I see the pressures you put yourself through. I hear your frustrations. I see where you are because you’ve shown me and although our experiences are different, I can relate to the core feelings.
Teach me, please. I’ll learn.
I promise. However, I would like to offer you something. I hope this is okay with you, so take it as it comes. And if you don’t like it then you can pass it on and give it away. So, here it goes.

There is something that I missed in my life, which I offer this to you because although we are different people with different influences; and I get it, I am me and you are you, I want to offer you this idea because I want you to have the best and be happy.

With all my heart, I ask you please do not be afraid to be you. Be exactly as you are. Also, about being a kid; do not be afraid to be a kid. I only say this because a time is going to come when you’ll never be allowed to be a kid again. Come to think of it, I believe this is why adults say “You’re just a kid.” I think we say it because adults know they can never be kids again. I mean, sure, we can be kids at heart. But still, no adult will ever have the same chances and the same opportunities that you have now. I know I never will, which is why I’m here. (Or at least trying to be.)

The fact is when we tell people what they have or tell them about their potential, no one really wants to hear it. No one really wants to hear anything to be honest. We just want to feel better. We want the stress to go away. We want the problems to be gone. We just want to be okay.

All I ask is this:
Don’t be afraid to be you. Don’t be afraid to step away or towards. Don’t be afraid to say no or yes or try or think, feel or be the person you choose to be. 

Can you see where I’m coming from with this?
I don’t want to change you.
I don’t want to take anything away.
I only want you to be you because quite honestly, this is the most amazing thing you can do. Also, and for whatever this is worth, I am proud of you.

As far as I’m concerned, you are one of the best creations in this world.
And by the way, I’m here if you need me.
If not, then pass it along or give it away to someone else.


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