Reading the blog in recent weeks I was very impressed by the recent back and forth between the articles “We want to rip the edges badly” and “The sense of our being in the world”. They are two articles that talk in a fresh and heartfelt way about what it means to grow for a young person and what it meant (and still means) do it for a less young person.
What it means to follow a path already traced and what it means instead to have the courage, the strength, the security, the boldness, the freedom to trace a new one. It seems an old story, the one of generations that do not understand each other, that come into conflict for the “traced path”, as if the new one could not stand next to another, or take a different direction.
I wonder if the suffering and the difficulty that we all, young and old, live in has to do with fear. And then I think of a sentence from the previous article ” the ones before us didn’t fool us, we got fooled”.
Fear of growing up, fear of parting, fear of dissenting, fear of making it on your own, fear of making it through thanks to someone other than mom and dad, fear of declaring that mothers and fathers are not eternal.
Afraid they won’t love us as much as they did when we were kids. Perhaps we should ask ourselves whether it is true love and affection that we try to maintain when we give up ourselves, when we remain small and meticulously tear along the edges to make others happy.
So did we trust too much, and got fooled because opening our eyes and seeing who we were dealing with was too scary? Because putting all our heart and body into it, all our intelligence was too scary? Better not to play, so we are sure not to lose. Better let only the great athletes play because we will never be.
It’s the fear that fools us.
The fear of being alone.
I wanted to go deeper… understand what’s in the “edges” that hurts us, at all ages.
I heard the back and forth between two very young people: “I’m always anxious not to find someone to spend my life with and be alone. And then not to do the job that I like but to do one for money. And then I have anxiety for the final exam!”
“You have anxiety about the high school exam, I have anxiety about the primary school exam. At any age there is a reason to be anxious. When you will be adult you will regret these years. When you will be old you will regret your whole life. Now that we are young we are in a hurry and afraid at the same time of becoming an adult.” But then how do we get out of it? “I live now”.
And where is the future? “Parents dictate things to us, tell us what we can and can’t do, and sometimes they bother a little. A parent must be a point of reference, but not transmitting their ideals and their opinions, not growing a copy of themselves: they must teach us to have our own. Then for me the future means becoming independent, that is, having the maturity and the courage to be free”.
Good aspiration for a 13-year-old.
But these words are valid for everyone: to have the courage to take a deep breath, to quote a beautiful ending!
Thanks to Chiara Fanasca for the translation of this article