As a child, all I wanted to do was to grow up. I had so many plans for my life: college, teaching, becoming a famous author, being a mom, traveling the world, having a movie made based off either my novels or my time as a teacher, become a professor, be on a History channel documentary. I was excited to move out of my parents’ house (how ironic that I’m back in my parents’ house!), to be on my own, to be in charge of my own life. Even though Disney’s Tangled didn’t come out until I was in college, I always echoed the lyric, “When will my life begin.” Well, I was in such a hurry to begin my life that I forgot to live my life.
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Although I am proud of my accomplishments as a teenager and a college student, sometimes I wonder if I grew up too fast. I focused more on my studies and writing and reading than anything else. Now, that wasn’t a bad thing. I still played sports, I still hung with friends. But, I didn’t take time to stop and smell the roses. I never really embraced the philosophy of Carpe Diem. I also got married very early. Again, that’s not a bad thing. I was 22, finished with college, and ready to be a wife. We’ve had plenty of adventures together as a couple, and spent many hours playing video games with each other.
However, there are sometimes I reminisce about my childhood. Sometimes I miss being a child. Adulting is hard! I yearn for the days of ease, the days of discovery, the days of learning, the days of only being in charge of myself. I love being a mother, I love being a wife, I loved being a teacher. But, sometimes I don’t want to deal with the stress.
Then, I look at my almost-16-year-old sister. She is so stressed about having a 4.o to get into the college of her dreams. She comes straight home from school (which she spends an hour at after for tutoring), and immediately begins on her homework for hours, then practices her flute. Yet, she still spends time with her friends. She still embraces her youth. She goes shopping with them, plans parties with them. Has Gilmore Girls or Downton Abbey marathons with the family. Bakes gourmet desserts on the side. She is my idol. She is still coocky and weird. She dances silly in front of the family and speaks a weird made up language (Er Mer Gerd).
Then, I look at my 20 (almost 21!) month old son. He is growing up right before my eyes. This toddler stage is my absolute favorite stage. It’s so fun. I am in awe as I watch him learn and discover. I want so badly for him to grow up and talk to me. I want so badly for him to grow up and go to school. To learn, to discover, to play, to love, to live. But, I miss my little baby boy that he no longer is. He already is growing up too fast.
I guess what I’m trying to get at is to slow down in your life. Enjoy your current stage. Don’t be in rush be in a rush to begin a new chapter. It’ll come when it comes. That is one of my goals this year: bloom where I am planted–that not only means where I am physically, but also in life. Enjoy this season. Get the most out of it. I am only 26. I only have one child. I have no job to worry about right now (intentionally). I don’t need to grow up quickly right now.