Sunday, March 13, 2011
Phenomenal Blogger Series
STEPHANIE J. GATES...ON BEING GRown
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