Well friends, both myself and one of my closest gullz turned 23 this past week. We both have had to learn a few lessons on growing up. For me, it was a little sad to not wake up with that giddy feeling, run downstairs to find a kitchen table laden with presents wrapped in Little Mermaid paper, warm gooey cinnamon rolls, and two brown headed sisters smiling back at my toothy birthday grin. The little small pleasures of childhood are gone, and are replaced with the reality of growing up.
Not that birthdays when you are more grown aren’t fun, and maybe sometimes even exciting. For example, my parents generously footed the bill for my trip to Germany for my birthday which is probably the best birthday present I have ever received. I love to travel and seriously enjoyed reuniting with Sarah. Hopefully one day soon we can see each other again. I guess as you get older birthdays are just different. For me, I get excited about getting together with people that I love and celebrating life, with a little cake and ice cream in the mix.
No longer am I afraid of growing up. Not having answers certainly makes me apprehensive, but growing up on the whole is no so bad. I wouldn’t cry if my comforter was replaced with a new one, or even if I wasn’t allowed to sleep with my beloved stuffed dogs, I guess I could get used to that. I have spent my fair share of time being frustrated with negative feelings, and now I’m ready for new and exciting things. I am ready for the next adventure. I am tired of being criticized for not having a job. I am tired of being put down for not doing good enough in college. I am tired of being rejected from graduate schools. I am tired of being compared to everyone else. This was definitely not my plan A. More like plan Z, but I’m going to make it work.
Sometimes, you take a chance on your dreams and maybe end up feeling really alone in a new city. Or maybe you put some effort into your future and get rejected. Or maybe you just can’t figure out what you want to do, exactly. Either way, the most important thing to learn is to pick yourself up and try again, or try something new, or even appreciate the hard things for helping you become the person you are meant to be. Making forward progress might even mean swallowing your pride and going the extra mile to make admissions people (or bosses) see how valuable you are to that school, company, ____ (fill in the blank). Do things and be with people who make you happy, who encourage you to better yourself and who encourage you to make decisions that will help you accomplish your dreams. Wouldn’t it be better to be a person who is growing and changing versus someone whose life is stagnant?
For now, that’s all on growing up.
“Take a leap, build your wings on the way down”