Emotions have always been a, to quote a friend, “thing” in pretty much everyone’s lives. From the moment we are born, we chuckle when we are fed and carried by our parents and cry when we are denied whatever it is we want for that particular moment. As we progress into childhood, we start hearing the rebukes of our parents less and less as we slowly understand the world and its conventions. It was once acceptable for us to cry in our wooden cribs, but as we can probably attest, crying like a child on the sidewalk can now seem to us a rather peculiar sight. You may briefly wonder about the paradox and even relate at the thought, but you’re sure that years of experience have long buried your most childlike instincts. At last, maturity has taken over you, and you now set your sights on more meaningful, ambitious things. Perhaps a graduate school degree or a trip to Rome or Paris, or anywhere in the world. You long for culture, money, ideas, and even desire to help others. Whatever it is you long for, we can at least come to some agreement: we’re finally mature.
Yet things are never that simple. Such a crude, general way of describing how one grows fails to account for all the years maturity itself had failed us. In fact, while reading this, you’re probably wondering whether you’ve truly grown as a person. By this, I mean to say that sometimes, glimpses of our childhood instinct can be observed. You feel a sense of urgency when you do not get what you want, and it often drives you to make irrational decisions. Of course, this isn’t to say you’re an irrational human being. Rather, our collective experiences seem to matter little in the face of certain situations. For example, I’ve at least tried putting my own wants and needs before others by grabbing the last toy from the store I was in as soon as other parents started talking about it. I even gave them the combination of a stink eye and a chuckle obviously meant to spite them. Of course, these situations are rather trivial for an emotional piece, but reliving this piece of my childhood is essential in an essay about knowing one’s place. Surely, everyone has harboured at least a form of this thought before.
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