I’m growing up, getting older and (hopefully) more mature. Childhood has slipped into the past, and adulthood looms on the near horizon. I’m in the middle place, that dreaded time of life known as teen-hood.
I was never one of those kids who were dying to grow up. I knew that my time would come, probably much sooner than I anticipated, and I was content to just be a kid and enjoy my childhood while it lasted. My life consisted of baby dolls, books, AWANA, Beanie Babies, Nintendo, and big brothers. And I was happy with it.
But then days grew shorter, and years began to pass more quickly. Suddenly I was nine, welcoming three new children and a baby brother to my family. I was eleven, beginning to realize what it meant to “grow up”. I was twelve, realizing that my relationship with God was not what it should be. I was thirteen, feeling immensely awkward and out of place in my new church. I was fourteen, struggling to learn how to say goodbye wonderful big brother – the one who, only weeks before, I had told that I couldn’t possibly live without (oh, the bitter irony!). I was fifteen, reveling in my first romance, but consumed with guilt. I was sixteen, and I quickly realized that it’s not as sweet as some say.
Now I’m almost seventeen, looking back on my past and realizing how much wisdom I still have yet to gain. How far I’ve come and how far there is still to go.
But that’s where I find encouragement. The glass, although half empty, is still half full. I have made progress. Not as much as I would like, but some progress is better than none. I have learned to grow in this crazy blur of minutes that is life. I have learned what it really means to really live.
Growing up is like walking into a mist. The further you walk into it, the more clear your immediate surroundings become. The future is still clouded, the past becomes a hazy remembrance, but the present is in focus, giving you just enough understanding to live and learn.
It’s different than I thought it was going to be. But I think that I can honestly say I’m content. I enjoyed being a kid, but I outgrew that skin. Now I’m a (very) young adult, and I’m ready to enjoy this part of life as long as it lasts. And I’m only sixteen, for goodness’ sake! It’s not like I’ve unlocked all the mysteries of life yet. There is still so much to learn, and that’s what makes life exciting.
You never grow younger. The clock keeps on ticking, and we must do our best to keep time and make the most of it.