The other day when it was time for me to watch my Saturday cartoons, I was horrified when I discovered that I was fresh out of cereal. Desiring to remedy that situation, I went down to the grocery store to pick some cereal up. Eventually, I realised that I had an entire list of essential groceries that I needed to purchase: Milk, eggs, orange juice, bread, cream cheese, etc, and all of a sudden I was walking back home with grocery bags. As I was going back to my quaint little apartment, a strange irony dawned upon me. I actually bought my own groceries, using my own money, for the use of my household, of my own volition. I then realised that I had to pay bills using my own money in order to remain in my household comfortably. It was just bewildering to wonder when exactly this happened when it felt like just yesterday I was driving back to my home in Maine to use facilities and eat food that I didn’t pay a cent for, ever.
At this point, even though I was going back to eat cereal, drink some chocolate milk and watch Iron Fist and Luke Cage kick the everloving snot out of a few criminals in a silly cartoon show about Superheroes, It became apparent that I was now basically an adult. Am I ready to be an adult? To do adult things? To be a productive member of my community in an independent way? Am I actually an adult? The answer is both yes and no. I wear Star Wars pjs, posters of comic book covers line my walls (Along with some few choice pieces of fine art, such as Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks and Caspar David Friedrich’s Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog), my favourite TV Show is Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes when most people watch House M.D, and I insist on ordering chocolate milk everywhere I go. Yet, at the same time, my room is also riddled with books exploring the many dimensions of absurdist theatre, American History, Political Philosophy, amongst others, I listen to music from the 60s and 70s, and I tend to wear smart casual clothing.
There’s just such an interesting juxtaposition in my life right now in the twilight of my adolescence, looking towards the dawn of my adult years. Is my childhood just clutter that I refuse to pick up and clean? Or is it going to remain an integral part of my being moving forward? I sincerely hope it turns out to be the latter, and I appreciate the people around me so much for accepting and embracing that side of me. It is a mechanism that gives me so much energy in life and it bestows upon me the power to leap beyond all obstacles that I come across. I think this is exactly the reason why the concept of Peter Pan’s Neverland has been such an enduring one, because everyone has fond memories of their childhood, and no one would ever want to grow out of something so wonderful, and that is a very pure and wonderful desire.
But just like how it is presented in the story, Neverland can never truly exist, but your experiences there can help you shine for a life time. Neverland exists in our hearts, a pulsating, sonorous and eternal requiem that we need to allow to vibrate into our lives. Yes, the child within us must eventually die, but the nutrients that are left behind can endow us with so much more, should we let that sprout and eventually - bloom.
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