One of my best friends and I were talking about making up "grown up" decisions and how odd it was to think that we were now full grown adults. I've known him since we were teenagers so we've sort of grown up together. In a weird way, I still think of us as those teenagers who used to quote Kanye West's "Gold digger" in math class and of how he protected me from unwanted attention from an odd male classmate years ago. As he is preparing to finally settle down with his girlfriend (whom I am happy to say is the kind of girl I've been praying he would find; he's a real salt of the earth guy and deserved a great gal) and make life altering decisions, I'm starting to wonder when it was that I really grew up. Today I also received an email from an old friend, who was also the first guy I truly cared for (though things did not work out for us), that got me thinking about how I've changed. It was a bit odd but it made me realize how the decisions I've made in recent years have reflected the journey I've taken and how the journey has made me grow up without realizing it.
I won't go into details because it's not necessary to and because I'm notoriously private about certain parts of my personal life. But I am grateful that these two things have come up because I needed to reflect on them. God has been showing me, throughout the summer, things about myself that I didn't really realize had changed within me. Long gone is the teenage rebellion (some of my friends may laugh at this as I never really rebelled against my parents as a teenager) and the "need" to "show" that I was independent. The days of my being stuck in a relationship (whether it be romantic or platonic) that was not good for me, and my making excuses for the other person, ended a long time ago. I have no need or want (not that I ever did) for the drama or theatrics one in high school might employ when certain situations arise. Somewhere along the line I also stopped being everyone's doormat. While I still do give in and cave with certain things that end up being great for the person asking something of me and myself, I know when I'm being taken advantage of and I do try to stick up for myself as well as I am able despite my shyness and dislike of disagreements. The decisions I'm making up are showing that I've grown up and I have absolutely no idea when that happened.
In many ways I feel as if I haven't grown up completely. Maybe it's just in my head but the fact that I'm still living at home with my mom (though this is not unheard of in the Hispanic culture; many young women don't move out of their parents' home until they marry) and that I don't have too many responsibilities may have to do something with it. The fact that I haven't finished college yet (though I am 9 months from graduating) may also have something to do with it. Also, looking like I'm many years younger than I really am doesn't help. :) In other ways I feel I matured faster than some of my peers. Instead of having a husband and children to take care of, I've taken care of my parents. In the last couple of weeks of my father's life, I was the one who made the decisions for him and even had to sign off on them. After my dad passed, I've taken over some of the responsibilities he had including driving my mom to work in the wee hours of the morning and making some of household decisions. I take care of my mother when she is ill (and it's becoming more frequent as she's getting older.) I help run this household which is my first real taste of what it to come when I have my own family. I have the "housewife" responsibilities that are preparing me for the future.
Of course I've gone through rites of passage that have "shown" that I've grown up. I celebrated my quinceañera (sweet 15) by having a small, intimate dinner instead of a massive party. I graduate high school (though I did that a little earlier than expected). I registered to vote on the day I turned 18. I've been summoned for jury duty. I turned 21 and thus became old enough to drink (though I still haven't and have no desire to). I went to (and am about to enter my final year at) college. I finally got my driver's license. I've fallen in love (though only once and quite recently). I've gotten my heart broken in the past. I've held down jobs to support myself and help contribute to the household. etc etc.
I don't know. It's a strange thing to realize. I know that at my age (I just turned 26 at the end of May) I'm technically an adult but I know that age does not actually say whether we've grown up or not. Anyway, I'm sort of "thinking" out loud here. I haven't really seen blogs with these kinds of posts so I thought I'd share the little epiphanies I've had in the past couple of days. The Rosary novena and time off with God has done all of this and I am glad. :)
I won't bore y'all anymore. I've written all I could possibly write without being too redundant. ;) I hope y'all had a great weekend and will have a great week. :D
As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D