Life Cycle by Adwoah Yeboah

Life is an endless cycle of learning and relearning. As babies, we have yet to learn our own limitations, the world is our big play structure. We learn to observe, learn to love, learn to value and learn to take advantage of our freedom. 

We are taught how to be independent, 

We learn to crawl, which leads to us walking with the guidance of a stable object, eventually; we are able to walk on our own. 

We are taught how to speak, 

We learn to make sounds, which leads to us forming words, eventually; we are able to complete a full sentence. 

We are taught how to express ourselves 

We learn to identify our emotions, which leads to us controlling our emotions, eventually; we are able to ask for our needs. 

We are taught how to use our imaginations 

We learn to create with building blocks, which leads to us building skyscrapers, eventually; we are able to design entire utopias. 

We are taught how to trust others, 

We learn to memorize faces, which leads to us getting familiar with people, eventually; we are able to rely on them to keep us safe. 

We are taught how to grow, 

We learn to observe the environment around us, which leads to us growing curious, eventually, eventually: we hurt ourselves climbing objects and we are able to identify where our comfort zones lie.

We grow up and enter a new cycle of relearning 

As children, we learn our limits, the world is not ours, it is a classroom that they use to teach us our role and place. We learn that we can be as independent as we want as long as our independence is dependent on the actions and opinions of the people around us. 

We have already been taught how to walk, but now they put us in line order and tell us to follow the leader. They tell us “know your place, memorize your it.” Never step out of line, because if you do, they will make sure it never happens again. We have already been taught to speak, but now they tell us to speak only when spoken to. Tell us “do not talk above and don’t you dare correct me. You must learn to tolerate my disrespect. Permission must be asked before speaking.” Never speak out of turn, because if you do, they will make sure it never happens again. 

We have already been taught how to express our feelings, but now your feelings are invalid. They tell you “you have not experienced enough life to feel sad about anything. You are giving everything, work for nothing, therefore be grateful.”Never show too much emotion, whether its joy or fear, because if you do, they will make sure it never happens again. 

We have already been taught how to use our imaginations, but now your dreams only go as far as they let it. They tell us ”you gifted kids can leave my box under my conditions, but as for you underachievers, you may never leave.” Never forget what group they have assigned you to because if you do, they will make sure it never happens again. 

We have already been taught how to trust others, but now you have to forget your instincts and trust in every word they claim is true. The faces you memorized will tear you down and make you question your own esteem. They tell you: “you can not survive in a hard world with a soft shell.” So never go against our word. Because if you do, they will make sure it never happens again. 

We have already been taught growth, but now you have to bring your curiosity to a halt. They tell us “You don’t need to explore the world around because everything you will ever need is in those books that we wrote.” Never question what you have been taught, because if you do, they will make sure it never happens again.

We enter a new cycle of relearning 

As young adults, we learn that they are not perfect and the world will only change if we make it. We relearn our independence and attempt to break out of societal norms only to learn the truth. 

We step out of our lines and learn to march. We become our own leaders. We lead protests, revolutions, and create new world orders, all in an attempt to shake their ground. But we learn that the systems they have built are too sturdy to ever collapse by our steps. 

We speak out of turn and learn to shout. We raise our voices against injustices. We give elaborate speeches, research, debate with others, start podcasts, and write op-eds, all in an attempt for them to finally be heard. But we learn that no one is listening and the few that are have no power to help. 

We internalize our emotions and learn how to control and live with the feelings that we cannot control. We seek help and raise awareness for problems that may have been ignored in the past. We have self-care days, talk to therapists, read self-awareness books, and call hotlines, all in an attempt to feel anything but empty. But we learn that money does buy happiness and joy has a price. 

We dream again and learn to build the utopias we planned. We become the architects of our future. We fantasize about prosperity and actively seek financial stability, stronger relationships, and knowledge beyond what we have been exposed to, all in an attempt to build a better tomorrow for ourselves. But we learn that our dreams are just that, dreams, and we learn to cope in their reality. 

We begin to trust ourselves and learn how to use our instincts. We distrust the systems that were built to keep us in their old mindsets. We form connections with people that we have been taught are not in our corner in an attempt of finding someone to confide in. But we learn that not everyone deserves our trust and our instincts are most likely wrong. 

We explore again and learn to develop our ideologies. We become detectives, questioning everything that has ever been taught to us. We question and explore our faith, sexuality, the way the world ends, and why the world works the way it does, all in an attempt to discover who we are and where we belong. But we learn that some questions are better left unanswered.

As we grow we make mistakes, learn from those mistakes, and teach the new generation to avoid those mistakes that we made. 

We learn the adults around us are just going through changes and adapting to new worlds like we are and that they are not perfect. 

As we go through the different cycles in our lives we are met with inconsistent ups and downs but the only consistent thing we have is the love of God. Though there are rough storms he will always be there for us. We are his prodigal children and he is always happy when we find our way back to him.

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