The Day You Grow Up

On the day I turned 18, I wept all day.  I can remember driving around in my little tiny Isuzu, listening to Eva Cassidy, and mourning my childhood.  I believed that was the day I grew up, the day I had to become an adult.

Later, as major milestones were achieved, I continued to expect the switch to flip, awaiting the moment when I’d officially be a complete adult.  Surely, it would happen by the time I had my own apartment? When I became a teacher? Or when I got married? Yet, I haven’t felt the push into true adulthood despite all those major life steps.


My life is currently under the header of DISCIPLINE. 

Since my first post about starting to budget our expenses, we have been overwhelmed by the encouragement, advice and feedback we’ve received (and we’re still open to more).  As I’ve been praying and thinking about it, though, I’m realizing that THE SWITCH HAS FLIPPED I’m no longer interested in being an indulgent and selfish human being, I’m longing to live under discipline.

This discipline certainly doesn’t end with finance, it pours over into every other area of my life: home, work, school, diet, relationships, personal care… the list goes on and on. By positioning myself under the heading of discipline, and not simply indulging myself because I want something, I will actually be happier and not require the passing pleasure of a simple indulgence.

{do tell!}

What is the header for your life right now?  What lessons have you learned about discipline?

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6 thoughts on “The Day You Grow Up

  1. I guess my header would be “No Excuses”. I think I became an adult the day I decided not to make alibis for things that did not get optimal results for me. Analysis, yes. Understanding what I can control and what I can’t is important. At the end of the day, I want to feel that I’ve tried my best, and I’m ready to go out there tomorrow and try again. If you look for targets to assign blame, you avoid asking yourself what you should do differently. The same stuff keeps happening, and you tend to see others as either obstacles or enablers to your ambitions, rather than their own independent souls.

    • Thanks, Dr. Sloan- another terrific bit of wisdom. I bet that if I focus on applying that lesson to my own life, I will probably be less frustrated with people overall as well. Thanks for sharing that!

  2. I have always kind of bounced around in my own thoughts of what being an “adult” really is. And I think I’ve finally hit on it- Independence. Funny to say within the confines of a marriage, but over the past year, I have been struggling with the irrevocable “our-ness” of absolutely everything. It always felt like I skipped something crucial, as my friends from high school and college got their own apartments and bought new cars.

    But I think now that preserving an amount of independence in any relationship is a good thing- it is what holds me accountable and motivates me to act responsibly. Those are my hallmarks of what makes a person look like an adult, but I can’t find the feeling of being one without feeling independent.

    On the fun side, I always find myself in this infinite feedback loop 🙂 The trophy bit is my favorite part.

    http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/06/this-is-why-ill-never-be-adult.html

    • Sarah- Terrific insights- so glad you are weighing in. While asserting my independence has nearly been a fault of mine, I completely understand your point of view here. And Mike and I agree with you about keeping a bit of independence in your relationship being one of the keys to a healthy relationship. Lately, due to our conflicting work schedules, we work harder at spending time together since it’s not easily a part of our day. That’s one of the reasons we’re so excited for this weekend’s cabin trip! But I agree: holding yourself accountable and acting responsibly are exactly the issues I’m focusing in on right now.

      {sidenote: that comic is hysterical! thanks for sharing!}

  3. My header is “Selflessness”. It’s not just me (or about me) anymore. I’ve “grown up” so much in the past few years. Marriage, the purchase of our home, the birth of our daughter… The decisions I make influence my whole family now, not just me, and I always look out for the best interests of my daughter and husband first. I don’t even have to think about it, it just automatically happens. And I love it.

    I enjoyed reading this, Colleen! And I’m tickled to know that I wasn’t the only one who bawled on my 18th birthday =)

    • That’s really awesome, Lindsay. I have heard similar things from my other friends who have children, so that’s definitely a “default” that I’m looking forward to. Although, of course, some of that responsibility comes with marriage. Love this header. Thanks for sharing it!

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