Thursday, February 6, 2020

Growing Up

Written by  Rosa Caswell

Its about time don’t you think? I really ought to grow up. 34 years old and I am still shocked and surprised when life gets hard, good grief.  C’est la vie, underneath all the adult, I still feel like a little girl. Always expecting apple tree blossoms, soft breezes, and my own personal little wooden swing to float up and down on as the air blows through my pretty flower girl dress and my hair gently brushes back and forth across my freckles. I still feel like I should have a father somewhere out there that will catch me if I fall, make sure I always have enough, and hold me close when life is too much to bear. I still become indignant when life dumps a truck load of **** on my lap.  And when I want to whine about how unfair it all is, I still want a mother to fix me a cup of tea, wrap me up in a blanket, listen to all have to say and assure me that all will be well, I just need to take a nap.

Now I know I am a millennial, and much to the consternation of generations previous, we really do expect to be constantly loved and cared for. We expect that our hard day is relevant to the world, that we should have permission to drop everything and have a cup of tea and a nap to solve our problems. But lately I have learned that I really ought to grow up and get me some of them adult skills. Regardless of how you feel, life does throw you some curve balls that require relentless persistence to overcome and persevere no matter how hard it gets.  Being mature enough to maneuver through it all is quite handy.

For instance, last week my car got into an accident, my furnace broke down, and I was planning to get a root canal after a couple weeks of horrible pain.  Not to mention, I had spent months planning an important road trip to Calgary to register all six of my kids at the US Consulate this Monday.  It had to be done six weeks before Tax season, there was no way around it.  Hunny, ain’t no cup of tea or any number of naps going to fix any of that! It was all phone calls, youtubing furnace fixes, budget assessments and don’t stop for a second because there just isn’t time.  I can’t take all the credit, a few amazing friends chipped in, all of us passing the torch, figuring, phoning, and working till it was all sorted out. It was a beautiful thing.  No one was being childish, we were all very adulty. I learned a lot of "grown up" does and don’ts from the whole experience and felt so very maturely satisfied when in the end all was accomplished in satisfactory order.  

Yesterday, however, all that adulting went right out the window.  On my way home from an overwhelming day at work, sitting on the bus, I phoned my sister to vent about how I felt like my life was always falling apart, what am I getting wrong???? I proceeded to bawled my eyes out, sniffling and whipping my nose on my sleeve, just like a little girl who falls off her favorite swing, scrapes her knee and gets her dress all muddy. So, did I grow up? Really? Or do we ever really grow up? Or should we? After a nice cry, my sister did all those things this little girl wanted. She told me to take time for my self (here comes that cup of tea and a nap).  She reminded me that I am worth much more than this adult world would have me believe: I am not, in fact, the sum total of my unpaid bills, my failing furnace, and all the backed-up laundry. As childish as it was, I needed those tears to wash away the bitterness of life’s difficulties so that I could remember what the little girl in me knows.  She knows what she is worth, and it has nothing to do with how good I am at budgeting. After that conversation I relaxed, the edge in my voice that had started to get sharper softened, I had my nap and a lovely cup of tea.  Low and behold, I am feeling a lot more my self today.   

Overall, I guess we millennials could use a few reality checks. Bad stuff happens to all of us and its not a personal insult sent by some force of nature. Everyone has moments when everything falls apart. Get up, put your big girl pants on and do what you got to do!  That’s life. But you know, I don’t think that is the end of the story. I think what society so easily condemns in new generations is actually exactly what we need. We are all worthy of love. The childishness that we feel is healthy and necessary. It’s the same part of us that has the ability to see the worth of life beyond bills and paychecks and thus the same part of ourselves that feels compassion for those who are unproductive in society. Maybe what we feel should not be defined as childish; maybe what we feel is the definition of being human.  

So when all your duties are said and done, don’t forget to be a kid, to enjoy the world like your littler self would.  Don’t feel guilty to feel sorry for your self a bit, nurse your wounds. The time will come to put your big girl pants on, and you will rise to the occasion.  But the real treasure you possess is not the ability to hold it all together.  The Treasure you bring to this world is the person you were born as, the child you were created to be.  

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