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!
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 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 http://stephaniesepiphanies.blogspot.com/.|
Over to you…
What does being grown mean to you? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!