The title of this article might seem confusing since you may assume that since you’re an adult you’re already grown up. But age doesn’t necessarily make you a grown up. For me, grown up means grown into yourself, who you really want to be, evolving as a person, in a place you’re content to stay in because it fuels your passion for life.
Often we get stuck in ruts, doing the same things every day while not feeling particularly good about it. We think growing up means letting go of things that made you giddy with joy when you were much more youthful and being more responsible than passionate. When I was a DoorMat I thought I was very grown up by doing what I thought was expected of me. Boring! And not happy. I was very mature on many levels but also felt unfulfilled. Empty.
Now I know that grown up doesn’t mean mature, although they can go together. Of course others may disagree but I believe that grown up should include being happy, with satisfaction for what you do. Having a life that feels empty is not very grown up by my definition. Until you grow into your passions, your dreams, a career that’s satisfying, the only thing that’s grown about you is your body and your chronological age.
Growing up on a mental level takes more time but is worth going after. You may experience different levels of growing up as you try different things to see if they fit into your life. I’ve learned that the path to growing up is what adds spice to your life and keeps you smiling and stimulated. DoorMats grow into apathy, except for trying to please. I used to walk through life on autopilot, doing what I was “supposed to,” feeling almost comatose except for small bits of pleasure thrown in.
Now if someone asked what I want to be when I really grow up, I answer “Old, very old.” Until then, I’ll still be growing!
Your life is in the journey of growing up. When I finally reach the point of feeling settled, fulfilled, done with trying new things, I want to be very old because if I’m not, I’ll have stopped living with passion and trying new things too soon. Find your path to growing up and try to stay on it instead of slotting yourself as grown up. You can be mature and responsible without letting go of the delight that children feel when trying and discovering new things.
Decide what you want to be when you REALLY grow up. Do you want to waste your life in complacency, or pleasing others, or do you want to really live on the path to growing up. I hope I never really grow up completely. You can grow into different aspects of your life without being fully grown. I want to continue to see life through fresh eyes, like kids do, and take risks that can make my life more challenging and satisfying. It’s your choice. How do you choose to grow up?
Take the 31 Days of Self-Love Challenge–a pledge to do something loving for yourself for the next 31 days–and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at http://howdoiloveme.com. Read my 31 Days of Self-Love Posts from 2012 HERE.
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