All grown up
Growing up is an interesting concept. When are we “grown up”? Why are some people “grown up” at twenty and others not? How do we define it?
We could define it as reaching adulthood but this, being based on age, seems flawed. I know some fifteen year olds who are far more grown up than some forty-six year olds.
I see myself as a grown up but I am undeniably still growing up. I grow and change so often that I am eternally looking at who I was two years ago and thinking of that version of me as a child.
If I had to define “growing up”, I’d define it as a shift in power between rationality and feelings.
As babies, we are almost pure feelings. We respond to external stimuli in such a raw way; we do not yet have the experience to properly rationalise what is happening.
As teenagers, the power struggle creates confusion. Our feelings are so strong - often cripplingly so - but we also have the skills to rationalise them. This tension between the two can be incredibly frustrating. How do we act when our heart and brain are telling us two different things?
Eventually, for most, we learn through trial and error that it is better to act in a way that the rational part of us approves of. We might want to scream but, because it wouldn’t help the situation, we don’t. We might want to hurt somebody but, because we know that it will just exacerbate the problem, we choose not to.
Recently, I have grown up even further. It may be a cliche, but I set myself some goals, daily habits and routines at the New Year that I have actually been sticking to. This is something I have never managed to do before.
Why is it working this time? It’s because I understand that although I feel like I want to stay in bed, the rational part of me knows that getting up early and working hard will result in long term gain. If I feel like I want to skip the gym, the rational part of me reminds me that I’ll feel better later on if I do.
The rational part of me is finally winning. Instant gratification is no longer my crutch. I have grown up that little bit more.