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When we were young

Growing up now versus growing up then....Loving who we are!!!!!!!!!! Identity.

By Novel AllenPublished 3 months ago β€’ Updated 2 months ago β€’ 5 min read
Top Story - December 2023
Nik on Unsplash

I barely remember those days, the days when I was young.

Yet; was I ever really young? I don't remember walks in the park, trips to the beach, or even visits to the movie theatre.

Seven little pitter-pattering feet of my siblings and myself,

added to the many temporary visits by the adopted ones

who found my mother,

barely leaving time for the fun little things.

The pennies were scraped to the last bare bone.

Yet, I never wanted for anything, never felt back then that I was missing anything tangible,

just something slightly out of reach.

The only thing that I regret, was missing the hugs which I never got.

My parents were so very busy trying to make ends meet,

so the hugs it seems, were sacrificed for the more practical things.


Teenagers now (growing into pre-adulthood) frantically fighting with their teenage demons,

trying to identify, to grasp how much of a distance they have arrived from,

being like, behaving like and getting away with the levels of accepted key words emanating from their still developing larynx.

I hear them yelling the f#*% words in their rooms or bathrooms

unaware that they can be heard. I say nothing.

There are enough frustrations within those dire circumstances

which warrant the use of an F word or two.

I mean, there are F-wording going on everywhere, television, friends, parents, strangers, books, and even on posters on the streets. One cannot escape it.

Yet, it was not encouraged as the norm while they were growing up. They were instilled with a defining sense of the awareness of right and wrong ways of behaving, while still having the freedom to choose their own path. There was a time of cussing at age six or seven, experimenting with the f-word among others, but they had outgrown it. But now young adulthood looms and the experimenting of boundaries is in full swing.

I am sure that swear words were being practiced a lot lately. so when given razors by her mother, and she had dived headfirst into the beginnings of shaving her entire body, the nicks and bruises evinced the dire necessity for cussing.

I tried telling her that the need for shaving was not necessary on a day-to-day basis, not at her tender age, if you are going to the beach or 'just as needed maybe". She disagreed, asked "why not"? I said "ok, if that is what you wish".

Teenagers...I mean, why bathe, just glide some deodorant onto an already smelly, sweaty armpit, smell out a cleanish tee-shirt, grab the backpack, haul on a pair of sneakers, while just wearing the night-old pajama,

not stopping for breakfast and speeding out the door.

But this teenager, she would bathe for half an hour, emptying the hot water twice over, unless you banged on the door and yelled a lot. So half hour to get ready for school is an anathema to her existence, hence the f-words.

"Wait, get something to eat...."! You may yell.

"I'm late, catch you later"! Would be the response.

"Watch your language"! Goes in one ear and out the next.

The thirteen-year-old young lad (both are almost six feet tall, lean and well-toned, despite not doing a single bit of exercise, except eating, playing video games, going to school or always seated in front of some random tech gadget).

He shot up overnight from 5ft 2' to 5ft 8/9', found out that he had a moustache coming in (one can barely see the tiny brown fuzz) and now struts around feeling his oats and constantly drawing attention to said facts. You won't catch this one cursing the four-letter word, maybe the other f word, he has a strong sense of moral values, unlike the female, who is taller and is quite eager to explore the seamy sides of existence.

When I casually mentioned the use of swear words to the father of the lass, he looked at her sideways with a questioning raise of the eyebrows, he spoke no words, but the swear word changed from f#*% to freak.

I won't even mention the six/seven years old little tyrant, possessing the temper of the devil himself and is already being threatened with boot camp.

These kids who don't care much for hugs, having an abundance of such things around them, or maybe they are just playing hard-to-get, so they get more hugs.

Truth to tell, they are great kids, well rounded, mainly straight A students, just trying to grow into their own flavor of individuality and identity. Far, far ahead of where I was at their age, thankfully.

ME THEN~~~~The contrast

My father wrote the book of curse words. Now, back home, there is a wide and colorful myriad and variety of curse words. He only cursed after he had imbibed a few, mostly on weekends when the paycheck came in. Yet, if he ever heard any of us kids even thinking about cussing, there would have been hell to pay.

My mother was a patient kind Christian woman, not an unkind word, even less so a curse word would ever pass her lips. I never cursed until I arrived in the 'good ole USA', even so, the times when cuss words escape my lips, they do seem a bit odd. I always glance around to see if my father was nearby.

I never cared about shaving my body or cursing, I wrapped my body up in as many layers as I could and prowled about within a thick jungle and wilderness of fog which defined my childhood. I was lost in 'Nancy Drew', 'Superman', 'Batman', and whichever superhero I could get my hands on. Thank God for libraries, I practically lived there.

The words nerd and geek may or may not have existed back then, but I would have definitely fitted into the spectrum. I was very much some small percentage of geek or nerd, I wish I had known it then.

I would have defined my identity much earlier than I eventually did.

Yet, the clincher (a fact, argument, or event that settles a matter conclusively) is that I did, and I have made my peace with being me!

My identity is locked up solidly and now sealed....ok, maybe leaving a little wiggle room for whatever comes what may!!!!!

Alexander Grey_Unsplash



About the Creator

Novel Allen

Every new day is a blank slate. Write something new.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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    Well-structured & engaging content

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    Creative use of language & vocab

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Comments (32)

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  • Teresa Renton2 months ago

    β€˜struts around feeling his oats and constantly drawing attention to said facts’ had me howling πŸ˜‚. What a brilliant, creative take on the challenge! Congratulations for Top Story πŸ‘

  • Great Top Story... love the comparison between your youth and that of your children. "I have made my peace with being me!" Only way to be.

  • The Dani Writer2 months ago

    *Me still absolutely spellbound* Oh. My. Word. That was BEYOND amazing! *Online party pom-poms going impossibly fast* Woo. Hooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!

  • Donna Fox (HKB)2 months ago

    Novel this was such a great entry to the Identity challenge! Best of luck and congrats on Top Story (again)!!! πŸ’š

  • Tiffany Gordon 2 months ago

    Beautiful job Novel! I truly enjoy learning more about you, your life & your babies!!

  • Kenny Penn2 months ago

    Bravo, this was a great piece deserving of top story. Brought back quite a bit of nostalgia for me as well, since I also lived in the library and was a Nancy Drew fan!

  • Grz Colm2 months ago

    Yo yo Ma! Just saying well done on your top story Novel!, πŸ˜πŸŽ‰

  • Kageno Hoshino2 months ago

    I love my young days.

  • Yayyyyy I'm back to say congratulations on your Top Story!

  • Sid Aaron Hirji2 months ago

    Well deserved TS. Sorry did not get to it earlier. You have a gift for engaging people

  • Kendall Defoe 2 months ago

    Well, f*** my life. This was excellent. And I wish you writers would stay out of my head... ;)

  • Real Poetic2 months ago

    Novel, you have a gift! Congratulations!! 🎊

  • wonderfully done. I always say, we had it made. The kids today don't know what they missed. Congrats on your top story

  • Elaine Sihera2 months ago

    What a fascinating and poignant narrative, Novel! So interesting to read. A well deserved top story! :)

  • Dana Crandell2 months ago

    Growing up as the youngest of 4, with a Mormon father, there wasn't a lot of swearing in the house. I learned which words to avoid by watching my older brothers suffer the consequences. Fortunately, my own kids never really felt the need until they were older - or were very careful at home. I really enjoyed your comparisons and congratulations on the Top Story!

  • I would not want to grow up in today's world. I got my mouth washed out with soap more than once, and that pretty much cleaned up my mouth, but that would probably be considered "child abuse" in a much softer world today. This is a very thought-provoking and genuinely heartfelt piece, Novel!

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    Great comparisons of the different generations and beautifully told. Congrats on the TS.

  • Shirley Belk2 months ago

    Loved this!!! Captured the essence of different generations. Congratulations on your TS!

  • Celia in Underland2 months ago

    Really enjoyed the comparison of your teenage years and theirs. Interesting how times change! I am definitely on the geek spectrum still! Some things you never lose 🀍

  • Scott Christenson2 months ago

    Interesting thoughts about the F word. Some TV shows now have the characters use it in every sentence. Its kind of weird when you think about how teen fill up every sentence with the same meaningless word. I laughed at the mention of how much more creative the cursing was in the past! We need to f*ing bring back diversity in swear words. And bonus points for being a word nerd/spectrumy person, I wish those concepts existed when I was a child in the 1980s.

  • Emily Binkley2 months ago

    Teenagers ❀️ 🀣 That was the hardest part of my life (being a teenager). You are such a cool parent tho, and I like how you compared your upbringing to theirs. You are so understanding of them.

  • C. H. Richard2 months ago

    I love the comparison between your own experience growing and raising kids especially teenagers now. So much has changed yet so much the same. Well done β™₯️

  • Daphsam2 months ago

    I love the format that you wrote the same. Very nicely done.

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