“Forever young, I wanna be forever young,” the next line goes, “Do you really want to live forever? Forever, forever young?”
Jay-Z croons such a simple yet thought provoking rhetoric in this song. The songwriter cum rapper expresses a yearning each of us secretly wants.
When I was younger there was nothing I wanted more than to just wake up one day and be one of the grown-ups, I wanted freedom, respect, laughing at myself in retrospect I just wanted to be me really. It’s somewhat ironic looking at it now because as I grow older I find myself wanting to be a child again, catered for and worry free. Often times I find myself thinking whatever happened to that energetic and innocent girl? That free spirited creature, able to form and break habits at the snap of a finger?
As a child I was akin to clay on a potter’s wheel, soft and malleable but as time passed this clay began to harden and suddenly it took much more out of me to form or drop a habit. It became a bother to do things like waking up early and taking care of important business in good time. I want to be a child again, free to laze about, watch videos and hold out the hope that they’d somehow become my reality.
The bible says train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. It specifically says “a child in the way he” not train up children like bottles of Coke on the assembly conveyor belt intended to be exactly the same– in taste, content. Robots who look the same and pursue the same life goals. Our youthful days are like a prison sentence because we are stuck in a vicious cycle rotating anticlockwise where our gears meant to turn clockwise, an untenable situation bound to leave our gears damaged or dysfunctional if left long enough. We are like bears in a chinaware store unable to truly be ourselves because we are not suited to such an environment.
I am not satisfied because I am not truly myself, like clay fit in the wrong mould I feel stuck in societies’ expectation of me knowing I can be more, be different, be in the truest sense– me. Like the potter, I know the way out of this mire is to moisten this semi-set masterpiece with memories of my childhood, carefully picking apart the lumps that most tickled my fancy. Then remoulding with the patience of a master craftsman till I reshape myself into whatever I want. Then and only then will I begin to live my life without undue fear or subservience to the next person and their actions.
Then and only then would I want to live forever young.
This article was written by Celine Agu; connect with her on IG here