Growing Pains

Went back to school but it’s virtual so nothing much changes except life is more structured. It’s only been a few weeks, but I still miss the freedom of heading to the beach or skatepark on a whim. Summer represents – childhood and the return to school giving me growing pains.

Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don't belong. -Mandy Hale

I’ve been fortunate that I am encouraged to follow my dreams and nurture my talent. I have taken so many lessons like dance, surfing, skateboarding, karate, parkour, piano, guitar, acting and so many more. When you’re in kindergarten everyone is pretty much doing the same thing and playdates are the norm. As I have gotten older and my lessons longer - playdates dwindled. At first, the change was hard for me because I value my friendships. I tried to stay connected with everyone and with the virtual games it was easy – at first. Then 2019 came like a wave and my acting opportunities increased along with my lessons. I was super busy, and my friends were busy as well. COVID slowed everyone down and again we connected virtually. Until my mom put a limit on internet usage.

As I struggled to the new COVID norm and zero outside interaction. Boredom loomed and my creative juices were stagnant. Mom said that I needed an outlet and gave me a painting easel and sketch book. I spent hours drawing different characters and having them come to life in my head. Mom encouraged AJ and I to creative something together because AJ too was struggling. AJ an advent DnD participant – he’s usually the Dungeon Master went that route. Since I don’t take direction well from other kids. our union – sucked. My characters had no place in AJ’s DnD world and I really didn’t like his DnD world – seriously a swarm of locus was needed to wipe it out.

Again, mom to the rescue. She suggested instead of playing DnD maybe create a new game where my characters thrived, and AJ could just tell a story about the characters. That is how he created – Eerily Wrinkling. My characters grew and AJ introduced a few of his own. Between COVID school, lessons, limited internet usage and Eerily Wrinkling. Our world at home transformed. I still missed life before COVID but Eerily Wrinkling made it a lot better.

It has been over 2 years since AJ invented Eerily Wrinkling. Always encouraging, mom convinced him to turn it into a book and using my characters! A new world was opening to us but only a few friends are following me on this journey. Change is painful. Again, I tried in vain to keep everyone together, but I have moved passed just playing video games. I like them but I also envision creating my own. I have also made new friends who use their creative juices to create their own music, skits on social platforms, and just accepting where I currently am. AJ’s book launch party will have a Murder Mystery element that I am really enjoying setting it up with my new friends.

Yes, growing pains is hard. Growing away from friends is hard. But growing is something will grow from all you go through and at the end will be - you