growing-up

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Chasing Maturity: A Train Journey Through the Landscape of Growing Up

A young man overlooking a snowy Norwegian landscape, dawn light reflecting on a powerbank in his hand.
Kaia Thonul, Monday, June 24, 2024, 09:21

As I sit here on this cold, dreary Norwegian morning, the train humming beneath me, I find myself sinking into thoughts of growing up. The temperature outside is a chilling 13 degrees. Sure, it's not freezing, but its bite has a way of permeating through you, seeping into the marrow of your bones, an echo of winter's bite. From my small, foggy window, the world goes by in greyscale - ribbons of iron and stone cutting through the raw, open landscape.

Growing up, in essence, is an ambition aspirated by every young soul before it even understands its full implications. We hastily strive to reach a point of self-governing independence, of wisdom, of understanding. We yearn to leave behind the naïve simplicity of youth and grasp the complexities of maturity. Almost as though in a trade-off, we relinquish the soft pillow of innocence for the sturdier mattress of awareness.

Take, for instance, the swivel of affairs in far-off Dagestan. After reading a somber news article on NRK during my early morning browsing, I was served a daunting reality check. It spoke of vile attacks on innocent lives, a stark portrayal of the world beyond my tiny, meticulously curated existence. As a journalism student, it's disturbing and emotional to read such articles. Lives lost...lives changed forever. It is a moment of profound sorrow, yet it serves as a powerful reminder of the breadth of human struggle.

The infractions of such acts stir whirlwind emotions, yet their existence is integral to our understanding and evolution into resilient beings. This part of growing up, the acceptance of harsh reality, is unpleasant, yet it lends the greatest life lessons. The essence of our bloom from children into adults is not only marked by physical growth but also by the deepening creases of understanding, imprinted by the pressing iron of reality.

Growing up also means adapting to life's shifting gears. An aid to my adaptation process, and notable mention in these transient reflections, is my ever-faithful powerbank. This reliable companion has been a silent supporter during those long train rides to Oslo, ensuring my phone, my music, my solace, never shuts off. More than just a simple device, it’s a metaphor for resilience, a token of constancy in a world always on the move, just as we are while growing up.

Growing up, then, is like this train journey – a transition, an evolution, and sometimes, a tug of war between the past and the future. All the while, we move on, leaving behind a trace of what we were, but carrying with us the core of who we are. Even in the face of harsh winds of reality, our wheels do not stop. They merely adjust to the different rails that life lays in front of us, leading us into the uncharted territories of adulthood.

But today, the melancholy is too poignant to ignore. As I sit here on my train towards the bustling city of Oslo, it is unavoidably apparent that the passage from childhood to adulthood can often feel like less of a graduation, and more of a mourning. A mourning for the loss of innocence and the gain of awareness - a bittersweet trade indeed.

As mournful as this train ride may be, my mind now is filled with the gratitude of growth. For though it comes with harsh winds, it also brings resilience, understanding, and wisdom. And as I gaze out the window to that weather-beaten landscape racing by, I realize this train ride, like my journey towards adulthood, is a beautiful one. And it's all worth it.

Tags: growing up self-reflection adulthood

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