Being Grown


You know, it’s really funny when I hear people say “I’m a grown a$$ [woman or man].” It’s like they have to proclaim it aloud to convince themselves that they are! Well, guess what Boo – if you have to say it, most likely you’re NOT 🙂

So to let people in on the misconception of being grown, my friend Stephanie gives us her take on being grown and being an adult. Enjoy!


hand drawn purple line

Having a conversation with some of my college students recently ages 18-52, I came to understand how much of being grown is misunderstood by the masses. It was the 18 year-old of course who proclaimed her grown-ness. I chuckled to myself as I reminisced on thinking I was grown at 18, 21, 30 etc.–buying into the hype that it is a magic number that makes us full- fledged adults, full fledged women even.

For some, it’s when we take on grown-up responsibilities or do adult things like my former 7th grade student who had a baby and thought she was more woman than me. So many times I thought I was grown for real: having my heart mangled; fighting fibroids and nullifying my chances of having a baby; finishing my degrees in the midst of whatever was going on at the time; caring for and losing loved ones; knowing when to move on, when to stay, not knowing– and living through it anyway.

There is a huge difference between being an adult and being grown: one is a number; the other is a lifetime of living. Certain expectations come with age, but how many times do we fall short? We might be adults, but can we really say we’re grown when some of us still pout and/or throw tantrums when we don’t get our way, can’t live without gossiping, passing judgment or keeping up with the Joneses. How often do we know the right thing to do, but just don’t to do it?

There are times in my life when I don’t want to take the high road or do what needs to be done. I simply want to be an irresponsible adult living my life and not answering to anyone. But that’s not real life unless you have a trust fund or your name is Charlie Sheen.

So, I have to accept the responsibility that comes with being grown as opposed to just being an adult. Grown is a place that we visit, some of us more often than others, but it is not a place of permanent residency because as soon as we’re comfortable and settled in, it’s time to move on because life is about growing through changes.

stephanie-gates Stephanie Gates is an educator, writer and activist residing in the Windy City. When she’s not teaching, writing or supporting a cause she deems worthy, she likes dining and dancing and spending time with family and friends. Visit her blog at

Over to you…

What does being grown mean to you? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

Wassuper, it’s yo girl, Kesha and I believe we should Be the Fruit Loop in a world full of Cheerios because life is more interesting when you dare to be different and challenge what’s “normal!” I am wildly passionate about helping highly driven women pursue fantabulous relationships, juicytastic careers/bizzes, and authentically inspired lives.

The Misconception of Being Grown

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  • Morgan

    I’m right there with you! Sometimes I really don’t like being all grown up. I think it’s important to keep our innocence and remember that life is worth LIVING, not just doing the day-to-day routine. 🙂 Thanks for this awesome post, Kesha!

    • Stephanie

      Innocence is a must, otherwise we become jaded and cynical. Thanks fo weighing in.

  • Nicole S.

    I so wish I didn’t have to be grown…being the youngest and the only one who is not a screw up is not all that easy.
    What I want to do is pack a bag and move to Texas leaving the house and the relatives in it behind.
    But alas, I’m grown.

    • Stephanie

      I’m also the youngest. I am not married nor do I have children so I feel like I always have some extra added responsibilities. But I know that as much as I want to be an adult and not be grown sometimes, chances are I’ll be the latter and not the former.

    • Nicole girl I’m the oldest of 2 and all the responsibility is on me so if I’m not acting “grown” a lot of things would be completely messed up – especially in my immediate family…SMH…

      I too have thought many of times of packing up and moving with NO forwarding address 🙂


  • I hadn’t really thought about the distinction between being grown and being an adult, but you’re right that there’s a big difference. As I get older I realize that age doesn’t matter. What matters is how I live my life and the example I set for my sons. Certain experiences can age us and prepare us for the rest of our lives, but those experiences can come at any point in our lives. With regard to taking off and not having responsibilities, all of us need to do that once in awhile! 🙂

    • Stephanie

      Yes, we do!

    • Lisa, I can attest to that (re: age doesn’t matter). I know 50 year olds who still aren’t grown and 12 year olds whose maturity level blows the 50 year old’s maturity level out of the water! Experience is indeed one of our best teachers as well as motivators.

      Glad this topic got you thinking about the difference between the two. And because you’re already grown, pass this along to those other “non-grown” adults you know LOL


  • Gustavo| Frugal Science

    Hi, Kesha! What an awesome site you have here. Do you make the cartoons yourself?

    @Stephani: I totally agree. Being grown up is a place we visit, sometimes in a forced way. Great article.

    • Stephanie

      Thanks, Gustavo. I’m going to check out your site.

    • Thanks so much Gustavo for the blog love!!!! No, I didn’t make the image on this post. I have been fortunate to find some awesome blog post images so I don’t have to make any myself. I find them on Flickr or Google and always give attribution when necessary. 🙂

      By the way, I’m checking out your site as well! 🙂


  • what a great article! this has been on my mental desktop of late, so it really resonated with me! “adult” and “grown-up” have always been yucky bad words to me, and i realized i was like pippie longstockings (except, the magic pills didn’t work, mk?) so, my glorious life coach gave me this neato idea, and it has actually made me feel ok about the whole thing: write out your current definition of what an adult is (for me, it was all neon-green poison!) and ask yourself if you are any of those things listed. chances are you’re not. now, make that definition positive, and remind yourself that it’s ok to be an adult and a grown-up…and a lot of the time, it can be done on your own terms. 🙂 wow. too much coffee…feeling zippy! thanks again for this juicy bit!!!!!!! looking forward to more!!!

    • Stephanie

      Thanks for the advice.

    • Eyenie, I always love your zippiness! Keep it coming 🙂



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