Does growing up have to hurt?

When I was 13 I thought the world was out to get me. Frizzy hair I couldn’t tame, braces that mangled my speech and thin purple glasses that, and I hate to admit this to you, I chose proudly myself. I got bullied at my local water park for walking around on land with my prescription goggles. Everyone thought I was emptying my goggles with salt water – surprise! It was tears. 

But looking back, life was good. I had two parents who loved me, I was healthy, and my friends loved horses as much as I did. Growing up was, for the most part, a breeze – it didn’t hurt at all. But then came the absolute shit show of adolescence. I kind of like to think of these next years as the fourth season of The O.C. There were some great moments, but a lot of the time we all just wanted to wrap this thing up. 

In my humble opinion, the right amount of family trauma is character building. It makes people funny. It sucks to admit, but it’s true. One of my best friends watched her parents go through a rocky divorce, and she is now one of the funniest people I have ever met. She also cries a lot when she’s drunk, but still. 

I experienced this transition first hand. I was always a bit of a weirdo, but pre trauma I was shy. I wanted to be a writer, but didn’t want anyone to read my work. I wanted to ask Nick From Science out, but we only spoke when he wanted my homework answers. Then, I found out that my dad was leaving my mum. At the time, I didn’t really think much of it. Everyone’s parents get divorced, right? (I had bigger fish to fry – aka, high school and One Direction). Over time though, the truth slowly unravelled – he had cheated, for a long time, and one day we came home and he had stolen all of our TVs. 

Growing up without a dad I could trust was hard. I saw the way my friends interacted with theirs and wished that could be me. It hurt. So, to fill the void, I used humour. My brother and mum did the same. The three of us banded together, and as a result we became closer than ever before. 

The time had come to brush away my tears R.E.; Ryan carrying Marrissa’s lifeless body through the flames. Season four is officially over. We went through some shit, but I’ll be the first to admit we came out the other side walking on diamonds as – arguably – the funniest family in South East Queensland. 

Anyone who tells you growing up doesn’t hurt is living in a bubble – and to be fair, good for them. They probably haven’t had any of their TV’s stolen. But also, they probably aren’t very funny. 


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