I squished a lightening bug on my windshield the other day. As I drove, my eyes kept wandering to the florescent smear of the poor guy's insides, splattered onto my windshield as if to say "LIVE WITH WHAT YOU DID, BUG KILLER."
Anyways. So there I was. Driving. With glowing bug guts. I put on my windshield wipers and sprayed the hell out of my windshield in an effort to clean the distracting, glowing guts off of it. Didn't work.
Apparently, if you're going to murder an insect by slamming into it at a high speed, make sure it's not a lightening bug - that shit is impossible to clean off.
So there I was, in the humid (because...this is Delaware. And summers here are humid as fuck) night, cleaning bug guts off my windshield with a bottle of Windex and a not unsubstantial amount of paper towels. I had happened to have a crappy day, and I felt as if it were my own blasted insides that I was cleaning off that damn windshield.
I could hear children playing down the street in the summer night. I remembered when I was younger, teaching Leech how to catch fireflies and romping around the neighborhood with my buddies until all hours of the night. We were kind of invincible then, in our own little bubbles of self-assured childhood.
I miss that. It occurs to me that I've spent a good deal of time mourning my childhood. Somewhere, along the lines of life, I lost my innocence and wonder, and grew up and became responsible. I think it's a problem that a lot of people in my age bracket grapple with - finding their place in the world.
We all want to hold on to our childhood selves, we don't want to lose who we are - but we want to succeed. We want to stride forth in the working world and be individuals that are capable of standing out in the crowd, and yet in our pursuit of this we tend to lose who we really are. It's a tricky sort of paradox.
How many compromises do we have to make in order to succeed? Hopefully, not many. However, a good many of my friends have forgotten who they are in favor of fitting in with the crowd. I've even caught myself, a few times, losing who and what I am in an effort to assimilate.
And it's sad, in a way, that we're even being forced to make this decision (even if said decision is oft made subconsciously). It's sad that, in a culture that claims to celebrate and embrace individuality, we're all losing our own individuality in an effort to stand out.
What happened to just being me?