growing up, growing old

this afternoon, i was talking to a couple friends about a thought i’d had in response to a situation that’s currently a bit challenging in our church small group. one of them, one who i look up to as an ‘older brother’, remarked “wow, look at you min, being all mature!”. it was meant as a compliment, but i couldn’t help but note the bit of surprise in his tone and expression.

part of me is pleased with the fact that he liked how i was responding, that i’m being mature, that maybe it means i’m growing up. part of me feels a little sad–that a mature response has any element of surprise can’t be a good thing. this is one of those things i wrestle with in my process of ‘becoming’…

as a kid and even young adult, the “grown-ups” in my life were entrenched in patterns of life for good, bad and/or indifferent. to this day, many of those patterns are unchanged. while there’s a measure of security to those patterns (my godparents will be in their same house and my room will still be there, my dad and stepmom will be dressed alike, my mom will be apologizing for something and saying a rosary or prayer under her breath), they’ve also always frightened me. there’s something about them that said to me, “this is as good as it gets, this is all there is” and for me that isn’t enough. i’m a dreamer, an idealist who struggles with being pessimistic so that i’m land close to realistic and less likely to be hugely disappointed.

but i’ve confused growing up and being able to respond in maturity with outgrowing the capacity to adapt, to grow, to learn, to change. as i’m learning the difference, i hope i can continue growing in maturity while maintaining a childlike curiousity and openness to the world around me.

i’m glad i’m not alone on this journey of becoming…i’m grateful that god desires me to grow in maturity and provides these friends to help me along the way (even if they might not realize it).


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