"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Phenomenal Blogger Series


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.

BIO: Stephanie J. Gates is an educator, blogger, editor and freelance writer. Her publishing credits include: Being Single Magazine, N'Digo, Mahogany Magazine, and several popular anthologies for women.

Image Photographer Dan


  1. I'd like to start the conversation off by thanking Steph for her awesome contribution. I'd also like to boast because she's one of my favorite clients and writing buddies.

    She took one of my writing courses many moons ago, and I've been amazed at her "growth" and talent ever since.

  2. You know, a good part of the time I feel as though I am about 17 on the inside, but the mirror, my marriage of 30 years, three grown children and a grandson tell me otherwise. :)
    There are plenty of days when I don't want to be the big, grown up person, but I must. I finally realized that this is par for the course!

    I really like your points, Stephanie. Seems like we are always growing through something, no matter what the calendar says about our age.
    I confess to be a wonderful work in progress...

    Thanks, Jen and Stephanie, for sharing this!


  3. Jennifer Brown BanksMarch 13, 2011 at 1:40 PM


    "A wonderful work in progress"--that you
    are. :-)Thanks for the input.

  4. Your essay certainly illustrates the realities of life that being an adult is not the same as being grown up. Maturing is a life-long process. I enjoyed this very much.

  5. "Full grown" makes it seem like we're done with the growing part but I guess you're right-we never stop "growing". There's always something to learn and something for the world to teach us. Great reflective post!

  6. Jennifer Brown BanksMarch 13, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    Thanks, Linda. Glad you enjoyed. :-)

  7. Jennifer Brown BanksMarch 13, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    Hi Wendy,

    Wonderful to get your perspective. Much thanks.

  8. Wow! Thank you for such positive feedback. A big thank you to Jennifer for allowing me to guest post. She does her best to make sure I keep the pen moving:)

    Karen, Linda and Wendy,

    Thank you for taking the time to read, reflect and comment because it from readers like you that I continue to grow myself as a writer.

  9. Jennifer Brown BanksMarch 13, 2011 at 6:33 PM


    You better believe it! 'Cause when you get rich and well-known, I'm gonna have my chest out and my hand out. Lol

  10. This was a really nice read. I think it's great that learn a new way of what "grown" means. I grew up hearing my mom saying this: "stay out of grown folks conversations"..."don't ask question me, I'm grown"...with the neck roll and all.

    Thank you!

  11. Jennifer Brown BanksMarch 15, 2011 at 6:46 AM


    Hmm...that sounds familiar. :-) Thanks for chiming in!