So in the past year there has been quite a few instances I have found myself really thinking about adulthood. The major reason I have been thinking of adulthood is, have I reached it yet?! After much contemplation, prayer and moments of utter babbling hysteria over baby v-necks in the local Baby Gap I’ve come to the realization that indeed I am maturing into adulthood.
I am no longer a child, therefore being a raging jerk is becoming inexcusable. I think that was the hardest realization to overcome for me, it’s inappropriate to be outrageously rude and blunt to people whenever I want to be. Those blessed fools.
When I’m not having an emotional breakdown in the local Baby Gap over little Converse All Stars or baby v-neck tees that my offspring will eventually wear, I mentor teenagers. When I was a teenager the one vow I made to my future self was never trust a teenager. I was the teenager that every mentor of teenagers questioned their role as a mentor over. That kid that would claim to never grow up and to consistently vandalize the local suburban residence homes. The kid that knew she was too blessed to deserve anything she got so the only rational way to deal with it all was to rebel. Now to clear things up I never actually physically vandalized any property, but I was a nuisance for an extended period of time and you ask the jury is still out if I am still a nuisance. But have you ever wondered what actually happens to those kids, like does karma ever actually catch up to them? IT DOES. Actually not really, but I felt like that needed to be in there. The problem emo teen grows up to mentor the teens. The sweet sweet victory karma happened before I decided to influence young impressionable children that probably don’t appreciate being called children. I can’t wait to be a mom so that when my kid defies me every step of their awkward high school and college life I can watch them eat pavement when they inevitably fall face first on to it. Although my mother never confirmed the satisfaction she received from picking me up off the ground when reality gut- kicked me to the ground, I’m almost positive she was giddy with delight. Don’t get me wrong- my mother has shown me more compassion, love, understanding, grace, and patience than I deserved. Looking back at reality swinging and hitting me square in the gut I can imagine for those seeing it happen it must have been heartbreakingly hysterical.
But back to my teens and how they make me feel old. At first I mentored teens to do a good service for my community. I shared my experiences and thought I needed to brace them for the impending pavement supper they would all enjoy soon. Turns out only the mighty [morons] fall hard and not every teenager needs a dose of reality in pavement form. Some teens are so level headed that they live in reality.. constantly. Meeting these teens that are aging into young adults before my eyes two years ago forever changed my perspective on my younger comrades in this world. I wanted to teach them how to place their arms out for the great fall of reality crushing all their dreams when they taught me that dreams, the right dreams, aren’t crushable. I [thought] I mentored teens because I wanted them to have a good influence, but really I mentor teens because as an adult I am still learning from them, I’m learning to be a better person.
I consistently read articles and watch news specials about the new culture of America destroying our young people and it honestly terrifies me. It terrifies me because I listen to [insert artist of your choice] on the radio and sing along to [their] songs before I know what I’m actually singing. I laugh at SNL skits about Vladimir Putin before I recall the civil unrest he has caused. Then I think of the young adults I have gotten to know. They are beaten violently by our culture every day and yet are more level headed than I ever imagined to be at their age. People that were born in the mid to late nineties are more trustworthy than me, a statement I thought I’d never gag out but it’s true. Before we write off our younger comrades let us remember the garbage that is thrown at them and then judge how level their head is and how level our heads would be in the same circumstance.
I feel old because I get emotional at baby clothes and cute couples holding hands in public. But I feel like an adult because I try to teach teenagers how to eat pavement with dignity when reality sets in but instead with all the grace that God gave them they teach me that true dreams aren’t crushable even though the reality they are thriving in is harder than the reality that gut-kicked me to the ground when I was their age.