The Fabulous Familiar

Taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Growing Pains

Tomorrow is my 24th birthday, and I have to say that it's kind of surreal. The real lightning bolt of reality won't hit until next year when I reach the 25-year milestone -- but still, it's hard to believe that I am soon rounding the quarter of a century mark.

As a child, I remember looking at people in their twenties and thinking they were ancient. Like they were the epitome of maturity and wisdom. I couldn't wait to be their age and have the world at my fingertips and the uncontainable knowledge of being a grown-up.

Boy, was I wrong.

While my parents were married and on the road to having me by the time they were my age, I am still placing my bets that they didn't have it all together. They probably felt at times that they were kids playing dress-up, trying to juggle finances, new married life and young children.

I am here to break the silence for all you younger folks. If I had a megaphone, I would shout, "Attention: I am 24, and I have no clue what I am doing!" Relief has flooded my soul at the thought that the secret has now been unleashed.

I have learned a lot in my 24 years, but it was a gradual refining process rather than an enlightenment that came over me when I awoke as a twenty-something. While I am tempted to recount advice like, "Ignore mean girls and bullies; they are just insecure," "Your parents are wiser than you think they are, listen to them," and other such preparation for the younger generation, I realize that it is just something they are going to have to face...and hopefully they will do it with grace.

Because nothing else really matters when you are in the middle of the storm, someone's assumption that this "isn't the end of the world" is only a response to the fact that this isn't the eye of the hurricane in their life anymore.

But with each stage of life comes new challenges and the feeling of having it all together is just pushed farther back and once again feels unattainable.

This quote would be my another-year-older advice: "The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult; the day he forgives himself, he becomes wise."

If we always look to another stage of life for satisfaction and maturity, we will go to our graves trying to get there. Take each stage for what it is, forgive the people who make it hard to handle and stay true to yourself throughout the storm.

Oh, and those bullies and mean girls are just insecure.


Blogger Ronda said...

So proud of you and those mean girls really were just insecure..ha..and I didn't realize that the inability to detect food or makeup on face had started so you. Look forward to celebrating your 24th.

June 23, 2010 at 4:13 PM  

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