aging gracefully.

Okay, so I’ve been thinking about growing up a lot lately.  Mainly because I’m almost twenty-one.  (WHUT.)

I’ve been thinking about money and college and my career and what I’m gonna do when I graduate and it’s all SO TERRIFYING.  Like I said in my last post, the future is kind of just a big void for me.  I have no idea what I’m going to do with my life if my writing career doesn’t work out.

But recently, I’ve been thinking less about my future and more about my past and how certain things I’ve gone through have shaped me into who I am today.  Moving two states away from where I’d spent the first fourteen years of my life made me more of an extrovert (because it forced me to actively find friends) and also made me more serious about my writing (and we all know how crazy I’m turning out because of that!).  Going on a two-week-long road trip last year helped me get to know a girl who would soon become my best friend.  And, most recently, everything we’ve gone through with our church situation has helped my walk with Christ, knit my family closer together, and taught me how to deal with people who I don’t really like (smiling and walking away is the best; you don’t have to listen to them).

I know that I’m in a critical stage of my life.  The choices I make now will effect me for the rest of my life – kind of a daunting thought!  This is especially hard to wrap my mind around because I’m at that stage where I’m able to make my own decisions about pretty major things – which include some fun things and some hard things.

About a week ago, the phrase “aging gracefully” came to my mind as I was thinking about this.  It’s usually meant in relation to the elderly, but it made sense when I put it with the age range I categorize myself in – seventeen- to twenty-five-year-olds (aka “young adults”).  In the WebMD article “The Art of Aging Gracefully,” Katherine Kam says, “Experts say the keys to successful aging include accepting changes and finding meaningful activities.”

Can’t this apply to the young adult phase, too?  Accepting who you’re turning into, the changes that are happening through your life, overcoming the awkward teenage years, and finding meaning in your life?

In the past few months, I’ve had to make some decisions about circumstances that I’ve never encountered before.  They’re my first decisions as a nearly-legal-drinking-age adult.  (Speaking of drinking, that’s another weirdly adult decision that I’m gonna have to make.  YIKES.)  I’ve taken myself to the doctor, enrolled in college courses, worked a job that isn’t rainbows and butterflies all the time, and even taken a long road trip with just my siblings.  (That’s right – NO PARENTS.)  I’ve also watched movies I’ve never been able to see before (without ClearPlay – oh, the sinfulness!) and read books that I’ve never been able to read before (you’ll see them pop up on my Goodreads page every now and then).

I’ve done the latter two things not because I want to prove to the world that I’m not a kid anymore, but to show that I’m an adult who can control what I let affect me.  (And that’s the difference between maturity and immaturity.)

And it’s weird, because I’ve never felt like I’ve had the maturity to make these decisions.  Every time a big decision comes up, I’m always like, “Wait; no – I’m not old enough to be doing this!  Can’t an adult… oh, wait.  I am an adult.  Dang.”

I’ve also learned that maturing doesn’t have to be boring.  Which is weird, because I always thought it was.  When I was younger, I didn’t want to get old.  I thought if I got older, I’d lose my sense of fun.  In the words of my favorite Disney face character, I wanted to “keep adventuring and stay not a grown up.”

But – NEWS FLASH – you can be mature and still be fun.

You don’t have to turn eighteen and instantly think you’re better than everyone else.  (Hint: You’re not.)  You don’t have to turn twenty-one and stop watching Disney movies.  (Protip: Watching Disney movies will keep you young at heart.)  You can be an adult without losing your sense of life.

Because life without life… is boring.

So anyway.  Just some thoughts.  🙂  What are yours on the subject?

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7 thoughts on “aging gracefully.

  1. I came across your blog for the first time today by way of your interview with Amy about Masked.

    I’m at the upper end of your mentioned age range of 17-25, but so much of what you’ve written here definitely applies (and right now it feels like the struggles of facing changes and adult responsibility will never end…although some people certainly act like it gets easier). It does seem like the reality of “growing up” and changes hits people at different times though. Despite not totally knowing what I would do after college a few years ago, the future didn’t really scare me that much and actually seemed exciting at times (perhaps partially because of my circumstances). It wasn’t until various events in the last year or so turned everything “upside down” that I’ve really had to face changes and the challenges of becoming more of an adult head-on…and I will agree that it is not easy and often times I just want the problems and struggles to go away.

    • Glad you found my blog! : )

      I think that’s how I’m going to see it, too – a constant phase of growing up instead of feeling like you’ve “arrived,” which is, frankly, scary. : P I definitely know how you feel, though. It’s stressful!!!

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  3. Ah, I love reading your Deep Thoughts. :] Especially when they pertain so closely to my world at present!
    I’ll presumptuously assume that you’d like to hear my thoughts on the subject as well… ;] I’m almost twenty, and currently feeling very much intimidated by this whole “growing up” thing you’re talking about. It seems that the more opportunities there are opening up, the more the weight of the world closes in. The result is that I feel as though I’ll implode *and* burst… at the same time. If that makes any sense. :}
    Sooo… let me know when you find how to transition into the adult world without the least bit of trepidation – I’ll be eager to hear it!

    • Ha! Thanks. It’s just a rambling of my tumble of thoughts, but I’m glad you’re able to make sense of it. : )

      Absolutely! : ) I know exactly what you mean. You just feel like stuff’s coming at you from all sides and it’s going to crush you if you get one. more. responsibility or major decision. XD HA! Okay, I’ll let you know. ; )

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