WHEN I GROW UP

WHEN I GROW UP

A Story by Elise Anton
"

You should not be alive today, Statistically you should never have been born.

"

I remember as a typical teenager, I went through a long list of occupations, looking for the right one for 'when I grew up': Air hostess, journalist, police woman, lawyer, therapist, teacher, writer...


I fluctuated, depending on my mood, the books I was reading, a news story capturing my attention... any number of variables.


Of course none of them eventuated. Maybe the last one might in time.


Some kids have a calling and they know early on who or what they want to be. I wasn't one of them, but my brother was.


Two siblings, one focused - the other meandering. This is probably the case in many families. One child devoted, the other seemingly uncaring. One child doing everything right; the other fumbling and stumbling, never quite managing.


One child providing a constant source of pride, parents glowing and praising. The other feeling ousted, isolated, unseen; the parents only ever sighing...


Which one are you? I have some questions for the both.


Are you the Star Child? The one towing the lines, the one wrapped in a dream bubble and only seeing one path? If so, then why does this make you special?


Does purpose define first place? What makes you special? Your dedication? Your need to be the best? The accolades, the praise, the pride keeping your bubble intact and afloat?

Do you see yourself as one worthy or one privileged? Are you gracious and humble or are you arrogant and superior?


Bubbles burst, inevitably. Other, better, stronger bubbles take the place of the burst ones. Sure you can try harder. You can always try harder. But comes the point, like in every race, where you cannot finish before you've started. It is physically impossible - at least for now - to push yourself so far.

Make use of your gift. Don't let it use you. Don't let others use you because of it.


You see it everywhere around you - hell - you even laugh, right? The photos of the frozen faces, intent on preserving youth; the sportspeople hanging in too long and suffering humiliating defeats. The aging performers, resorting to TV ads, compromising everything in order to still somehow remain 'in the scene'. Partners traded in for younger models, hallowed positions retired, chairs occupied by fresher, younger brains...


Those thousands of friends on Social Media, those millions of subscribers, those fans, supporters, even those you assume closest to you... how many of them are real? Can you please them all, and can you do so consistently and simultaneously? How's the pressure going even now, when you're just starting out?


You can only ride your gift so long. Ride it wisely.


Are you that other child? Are you the shadow? I have even more questions for you - and some advice.


Firstly, why do you feel like a shadow? Are you defining your self-worth by comparison to others? If so, is that working for you? No?


It's not your fault is it? I mean you got dealt the lesser hand right from the start. Your sibling got the looks or the athletic prowess or the talent or the brain as such. You got zip. How does one compete - right - when the race is rigged? Why even bother trying? Better to just admit defeat.


Just like the race cannot be finished before it's started, the race cannot be started and never finished. It's a race; it needs both a start and a finish. Someone has to win. Someone else loses, all the time...


My question is: Why do you need to race in the first place? Or why do you feel like an outcast if you're not in one? Have you ever considered the fact that most of the beauty, the wonder and the joy in life lie in un-trodden paths? You crave to be part of the pack, bemoaning your inability yet - your very difference is your biggest asset!


And you let them bully you for this? Worst still, you allow this bullying to get hold inside? You leave yourself at the mercy of those others in the race, you plead with them, you beseech them to allow you entry? You pathetically lament over your non-inclusion, peppering this public 'admittance' of your failure with words of depression and self-harm?


Then you feed off the obligatory sympathetic outpouring, believing this gives credence to your existence? Seeing it 'work', you do it over and over and over, a cycle of misery sustained by a network of false compassion?


Here's some news: No one cares, really. They're either stuck in various cycles of 'you' themselves, expecting mutual false compassion; or they're versions of your sibling, stuck with their own stresses and pressures.


Instead of focusing on the pack, how about you focus on yourself? Wasted years in shadows or peripheries don't bode well... But, blazing your own trail, seeking your own identity - trusting in yourself... Whole different outcome.


You don't need external validation. No matter the handicap you bear, it is a part of you. So use it, rather than letting it define you. Control it, rather than giving control of it over to others. There's nothing wrong with you. Trust me. There is only ever wrong if it is allowed to manifest as such. If you allow it.


Shrug off the sighs and seclusion. Create your own expectations rather than trying to live up to those imposed or considered noteworthy by others. You can never please everyone... always. Your sibling is discovering the same thing only at a slower pace. 


Exult in your difference rather than cower behind it. Celebrate your existence rather than moping, considering it less worthy. There's no judge. Get that in your head. Everyone dies; everyone ends up in the same casket wearing the same 'funeral' wear. That's all everyone leaves with.


But. What legacy have they individually left behind? Has their passage through this thing called life made any difference? A plant flowers, provides a brief glorious sight - even the 'lowliest' of weeds give visual pleasure when in flower. Sometimes it does so every year, sometimes only once during this passing. All plants leave an impression though, a moment in time which recorded their particular glory.


Your sibling's path may be pre-determined and specific. Yours however may be in the making, around every new day - a promise, an opportunity, a glimpse of what you can achieve. Not for anyone else but purely for the satisfaction of knowing your passage made a small difference. A little glorious difference!


Can't do that from a position of defeatism; can't do that if wallowing in perpetually perceived inadequacy. Can't do that while you are distracted focusing on what you presumably lack and everyone else has, rather than what you do have.


You have life! If you go back 1 million years it would take 42 x 10403149 universe lifetimes to definitely result in you. That's 42 with 403,149 zeros after the 42 lifetimes of the Universe! The age of the universe since the Big Bang is assumed to be 13.7 billion years.* You should NOT be alive today.


http://members.shaw.ca/tfrisen/chances_of_you_existing.htm


Head over and check out the probabilities on the link above. For your birth to have occurred at all is a miracle of the highest, most impossible order. This blew my mind when I stumbled across it. It sure puts one's very existence into perspective. Any break in the chain from the first sign of life to your father, and there'd be no you! The chances of you existing at all right now are less than zero!


And what? You want to blow a line all the way back to infinity because of some temporary discomfort? You want to throw away this link with infinity in both directions because of any amount of petty reasons? Every reason, however dire and unfair it may seem in the moment is petty, when pitted against this miracle of you being here at all.


No matter the advantage or handicap birth dealt you, it is this miracle of you that should be celebrated... It is for this alone you owe everyone who helped create you through the eons a debt of gratitude. And it's the how you repay this debt that will ultimately define you...

© 2016 Elise Anton


Author's Note

Elise Anton
* If you go back 10 generations (250 years) the chance of you being born at all is at most 1 divided by 6 x 10100 or
1 in 60000000000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000000000000000.
In gambling, even a chance of 1 to 100 is not worth a gamble.
Are you ever lucky to be alive!!

http://members.shaw.ca/tfrisen/chances_of_you_existing.htm

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register




Featured Review

This was such a great read! Birth order and family dynamic definitely factor.
I'm a middle child, my older sibling is your classic over achiever, my younger got all the attention for being the baby. So I was neither the baby or the first born. Just was. Anyway, really enjoyed this.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Elise Anton

5 Years Ago

Thanks for stopping by Ana :) Middle children are an interest all to themselves. I have no direct e.. read more



Reviews

This was such a great read! Birth order and family dynamic definitely factor.
I'm a middle child, my older sibling is your classic over achiever, my younger got all the attention for being the baby. So I was neither the baby or the first born. Just was. Anyway, really enjoyed this.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Elise Anton

5 Years Ago

Thanks for stopping by Ana :) Middle children are an interest all to themselves. I have no direct e.. read more
I thoroughly enjoyed this story (Or can I really call it one?) that you have posted here. I will be talking about this write that I judged while keeping certain criteria in mind:

Language: Excellent language. Whether it is the choice of words used or the way this story has transitioned from one phase to another without breaking the flow. This piece exhibits how extensively one has dug through his or vocabulary and used them wisely. The wrote is sophisticated, and this particular piece can invoke a different sort of imagery changing every time a different person reads. Bravo!!

Story Quality: I will give it 9.9/10 (We improve every single day and try to work on older pieces as well Makes no sense giving it a perfect score when we ourselves don't feel our writes are perfect.) The pacing of this write is very good. There was not a single moment where I felt you had dragged even one single part of this more than needed. Credit also goes to the short paragraphs and how you split them. The highlight of this write for me though is how the tone not only changes smoothly from one kind to another but it feels as if you are speaking with the readers themselves. That is the kind of interaction you have achieved here, thus making the read even more absorbing. Because the reader almost feels like a conversation is going on here and they are part if it. Superb job with the ambience.
Now one more aspect of this write is the truth that resonates in your words here, making this one that much of a powerful write and creates a huge impact on the reader's psyche as they read it.

Now this story has a lot of personal touch to it as far as I could sense and sometimes I got the feeling the narrator wrote this piece also as a reminder to himself/herself of the very facts he/she was trying to convey to the readers. This write packs quite a lot of punch.

Other things worth mentioning: The way you have started the write had a certain charm to it. Every person has dreams some get fulfilled others don't so the start was the prefect foundation needed to grab the reader's attention. Throughout the write I believe almost all readers would go through self-introspection thinking on the very same lines. Sometimes it's the voiceless voice that creates this atmosphere much easily than someone's actual voice stating the same thing.

Critique: 27th Para From 3rd line "Not for anyone else but purely for the satisfaction of knowing you passage made a small difference." I am guessing it should be 'your' not 'you' that's all I saw as an error.

Conclusion: WELL DONE.

It was quite the motivational write, things I guess I understand myself well and some of the things mentioned are things I have told myself countless times. Thank you for sharing.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Elise Anton

5 Years Ago

Errenn, your interpretation of this piece is admirable. You are correct in saying everyone is not pe.. read more
Érenn

5 Years Ago

Haha fact is we learn from our mistakes and rise and strive for higher grounds. At least I have alwa.. read more
Elise Anton

5 Years Ago

Whatever you are doing, keep doing it. I am a staunch fan, you know this :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YycAzdtUIko

Complexity destroys reality....




Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Elise Anton

5 Years Ago

Yeah, I've watched a lot of these. My brain struggles admittedly. But for average me, it's kinda nic.. read more
Advertise Here
Want to advertise here? Get started for as little as $5
Wow...again. I really, REALLY needed this. It's amazing what you can do with your words...

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Elise Anton

5 Years Ago

Thank again Hyacinth... Did you check out the link? It is so mind-blowing to understand exactly how .. read more
Hyacinth

5 Years Ago

Yaeh, I did. We're all miracle babies!!

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

440 Views
4 Reviews
Rating
Added on March 12, 2016
Last Updated on March 17, 2016
Tags: writing, story, time, words, thoughts, miracle, life, death, self, shadow, spotlight

Author

Elise Anton
Elise Anton

Australia



About
Hello from downunder! I am one of those people who can just sit and write. It's like breathing for me. I've never shared and never published. It was my thing, my escape, my therapy... I have two so.. more..

Writing

Related Writing

People who liked this story also liked..