The Truth About Growing Up

She had come to the conclusion that being a “Grown Up” was a mythical state of being, that was projected in childhood fairytales. It was an unachievable goal, no matter how hard you tried, because you are reaching for something that doesn’t exist in the first place. There is no magical age that you reach, and all of a sudden feel older and wiser. There are no outlined steps to take that will lead you to the point of maturity. And there is no milestone that marks your transformation into an Adult. She had always been looking for that defining moment of transformation, and searching for it constantly, when she came to the realization that what she was searching for didn’t exist, and she was missing the transformation that was actually taking place.

She had matured over the years, but not according to the definition that is pictured in so many movies and stories. She did not have a significant other, and was not starting a family of her own. She was not holding down a job in a suit with a cubicle and measuring her level of success with the number of digits before the decimal point on her paychecks. She was not planning for a stable future, with roof over her head that she could call her own. She had not resigned to socializing meaning an evening of wine and cheese tasting in someone’s parlor. And she was not satisfied with having a job, paying her bills, and cooking well-balanced meals. She sought more in life than to just reach the state of being an Adult, she wanted to enjoy the journey and never actually reach that fabled destination. She wanted to earn a living doing something she loved to wake up to every day. She wanted to live in many places around the world, and would not be satisfied in choosing a place to call her own until she had explored all of the endless options. She wanted to meet new people every day, and still keep familiar faces by her side. She wanted to dance shamelessly and freely at music festivals, and choose a night in with a book and her thoughts. But most of all, she never wanted to stop enjoying playing. She wanted to enjoy games forever, and live for laughter. She wanted to get lost in her own imagination, and share stories that inspire others to explore their own realms of possibility. She wanted to never stop dreaming, and never truly be satisfied with her life. The constant state of unrest and a feeling of never accomplishing anything did grown tiresome at times, but always finding new possibilities was revitalizing and what quenched her undying thirst for life. She dreamed big, and committed, because that’s all that being an Adult was truly about.

The adults that she had grown up looking up to, had accomplished impossible things in her young mind. Her parents had moved across an entire country to start a new life halfway through living one. Her fourth-grade teacher had proudly supported and practiced hippie ideals in the middle of a low-income ghetto. Her God Mother had battled cancer, and never once allowed her perfect red nails to be anything but beautiful. Her mother had lost her best friend and started her life anew by going back to school and finding a career that inspired her to live every day and continue on. What she was now realizing was that being an adult was about refusing to do anything but live. You survive every day, and you do all that you can to accomplish that with grace. If you want something, you go out and get it without any excuses hindering you path. Adults are empowered to do things, and they take advantage of their resources, childhood imagination, and experience to make their dreams come true. They adapt to the whims of life with grace, pick themselves up, and find another path to walk along for the time being. Being an adult is about simply not giving up. She realized that she had actually been an adult from a very young age. It was not the passing of her father that had changed her into an adult, it was her determination in fifth grade to change who she was completely and what direction she was headed in. It was when she no longer allowed her shy personality to hold her back from living life, and when she declared her independence from her parents on completing school assignments. It was when she wanted to support herself with her own two legs, but was still willing to humbly accept an outstretched arm offering to help. Being an “Adult” really meant discovering who you are and confidently operating with that knowledge. The argument could be said that all children are adults, and it is when the confusing influences of mass media and perpetuated stereotypes conflict their view of self, that they are momentarily lost in adolescence. To be an adult, you just need to know what you want, and pursue it. It had grown as simple as that in her mind. Taxes aren’t scary, you ask someone for help or you used step by step programs online. Having a job is not intimidating, it is a necessity for life. Dating is not nerve wrecking, it is an opportunity to get to know someone new and eat good food. And dreams are not impossible, they are just something that take imagination, planning, and dedication to actualize.

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