I can't quite remember if I was wearing my school uniform, or whether it was the weekend, but other little details are etched in my memory as clear as if it was yesterday. I remember the sky. It was blue, not the bright blue associated with high-summer, but an off-grey-blue, something that promises a change in the weather, and it was streaked with growing clouds.
I remember the rust on the swing that hung in my parents back garden, and I remember how the breeze tugged at it that afternoon and made the hinges squeak.
But most of all, I remember the stifling sense of frustration - what I don't remember is why. In the way of childhood, I'd fled from the house and the responsibilities that had been placed on me (usually to tidy my room or such like), and had fled into the freedom of the garden. I remember standing there and screaming as the tears flowed down my cheeks that I wanted it all to end, and wishing my hardest that the ground would swallow me up.
I don't remember what happened after.
I hadn't been yelled at or abused in anyway, but I'd felt trapped by life, and I had grasped the chance at freedom with both hands. I'm pretty sure that I then picked myself up, shook myself off, and trudged back to what ever the perfectly reasonable task I had been asked to complete was.
It does make me wonder though, whether sometimes as adults, we aren't impulsive enough? Yes, we all have responsibilities, yes, they take up our time and often keep us away from seeing the people we love, but they also give us the contrast to see those times when we're free of those responsibilities. As a child I bucked against the chains that my parents tied to put on me, and in that moment created a memory so vivid that I can remember it decades on. Eventually I calmed and accepted the instruction, and have continued to obey as I've got older... but, I have to wonder, as adults would we benefit from a little more 'childish' emotional investment?
Why does growing up have to be about completely conforming? I'm not suggesting I want anarchy, but the world is such a rich and vibrant place, that sometimes you need to take a step out of the pattern you've created in order to really take-stock of your situation and to see the bigger picture.
As a youngster screaming for the earth to end it all, yes I might have been a bit over dramatic, but I also remembered looking up to the idea of adulthood and the freedom that came with it. It's only now, as an adult, that I realise that it is that impulsive child who is really free... and that as we grow, we increasingly accept our roles.
I studied a lot about innocence and experience in A-Level English, but I'm not really thinking about it at that level... there are just some moments in life that shape you, and that those moments can happen at any time. You might wish to be more innocent, or experienced depending on your stage of life, but the key thing is to always grasp your life with both hands.