I have a short, musing post for you today. I’ve been thinking about growing up lately, because it’s my birthday about now. A slightly significant birthday. I’m having a party. I might share something more about it once it’s over.
I remember back when I was nine and mad a new friend. She was almost thirteen and quite mature. In my eyes she was almost too grown up, and I really didn’t have much in common. I played with her younger brothers instead. (they tried to send me away, but being told she had lot’s of cool music really didn’t matter to nine-year-old me.) We did become friends though, and I figured out that thirteen was grown up. I thought that was when I’d be allowed to do various thing my older brothers did. (despite the fact they were older than that)
When I did turn thirteen, I didn’t feel very grown up at all. I didn’t want to be a teenager. But I did think sixteen (incidentally the age of my my friend) was quite grown up. But the same thing repeated when I was sixteen. I felt a little mature, but not very.
At eighteen and nineteen, I still felt that way. I wasn’t sure who I was. I was beginning to write, and had figured out some of what I wanted to do in life, but I wasn’t very confident. But it was around this time I started to look back. I had friends and brothers a number of years younger, and I had trouble believing how grown up I saw myself at their age. They’re just kids. How on earth would someone have a crush on a fifteen-year-old boy? It seemed ridiculous looking back.
Since then, I’ve started to see them as a little more grown up. I’ve been surprised by the insight-fullness of some pre-teens. I’ve mistaken people’s ages to be younger or older. I’ve had people get my age wrong. And from this I’ve come to a conclusion. Age might be an absolute things, but how it’s perceived and what it means is relative. It’s affected by your own age, the circumstances and personality of the person, and your own experiences.
I’ve got to a stage now, where I might say someone from three years younger than me to about five years older is about my age. If they’re younger than me, I might forget their age, and group them with the fifteen year olds, but that group mostly consists of people who were fifteen two or three years ago. It’s hard to keep track when you only know people online.
As for myself, I do feel fairly comfortable with the age I am. I’ve realized that just because I’m not as far along in life as someone else, that doesn’t mean I’m not good at acting my age. I don’t need to act my age. I need to be the person God wants me to be.