"Meek young men grow up in libraries, believing it their duty to accept the views which Cicero, which Locke, which Bacon, have given, forgetful that Cicero, Locke, and Bacon were only young men in libraries, when they wrote these books." – Ralph Waldo Emerson
When you were a child, how did you imagine your life would be as an adult? Last week we asked Red Room to blog on the topic "When I Grow Up." Unsurprisingly, several of bloggers wrote about wanting to be a writer, like Allyson Latta and Jean Taggart. They usually developed those ambitions from an early love of reading—Jessica Barksdale Inclan, for example, writes that she felt "there were other people like me, though they seemed to be stuck in books." Renee Letros was going to use writing—lists, letters, resolutions—to find the control over life that so many children think comes with growing up. (Speaking of lists, we could all do worse than check the list Kelly Tweeddale came up with to define what grown up might look like.)
Others had ambitions to hold various professions when they grew up (my favorite is Camille Minichino's—a bookie), others wanted to have more esoteric qualities: agelessness (Farzana Versey), artistry (Susan Browne), certainty (Mehraz Turner). Many others didn't want to grow up at all, whether it's because they knew growing up would mean the death of a loved one (Rebbecca Hill), losing a sense of self (Mary Wilkinson), or because being a kid was too much fun (Jackie Y. Krudop). It shouldn't surprise anyone that a couple of blogger cited Peter Pan when thinking about what growing up meant and whether they wanted to do it—R. Michael Phillips writes with an imaginary "View of Kensington Gardens," and April Ninomiya Hopkins reports from in front of her television , "Kickin' It" while watching Mary Martin as Peter in the 1950s.
Here are two blog posts that stood out this week:
Christina Greenaway writes how during every stage of her life, when she'd express a hope, a fantasy, or a determination, she was lucky enough to hear "yes." Read her inspiring post "When I Grow Up."
Adjusting her expectations from the perfect life she'd envisioned—and learning to make the best of it—is what growing up means to Kristina Riggle in her post "The Life You've Imagined."
These bloggers will receive books about two women growing up: Jayanti Tamm describes her memoir, Cartwheels in a Sari, as an inside account of growing up as the designated "chosen one" in a cult run by a charismatic guru, while Jessica Anya Blau's novel, The Summer of Naked Swim Parties, tells about one young woman growing up in 1970s Los Angeles and the "summer that forever changes the way she sees the things that matter: family, friendship, love, and herself."
There are many more equally worthwhile entries this week. I hope you'll take some time and look through the full list and comment on some of your favorites. Thanks as always for blogging!
–Huntington W. Sharp, Editor, Red Room