When I was a kid I thought growing up was a physical state. I thought it was all about age, about physical body size. I anticipated to grow up. My young mind could not fathom that growing up involved more than the body. No.
As a kid I wanted to be older than I actually was. I lied about my age several times. I thought being born in 1993 or 1994 was growing up. I sometimes wore clothes bigger than me in attempt to look I had gained weight. I loved my dresses short in an attempt to show that I understood fashion, that I was exposed and i wasn’t as innocent as everyone told me i looked like. That I was a grown up. It didn’t help that despite my dressing, some people would still look through me and tell me ‘Brightstar, you cannot fake who you are not, it’s evident from your behaviours there are a lot of things you still haven’t tried yet’
When I was younger I struggled day in day out to imitate our English teacher, i mastered the art of fluent English speaking by the time i was in class 5, never mind i was in a village school where majority spoke mother tongue. I tried to imagine myself walking like her in heels and fancy clothes to the extend that when I got my first high heels I knew already how to walk in them, never mind they were too high for me. I walked for kilometres and I didn’t fall. To me walking in heels and speaking In fluent English equaled to growing up.
When I was younger I tried to argue and debate whatever someone few years older than me would say, and quotes famous scholars of the books of the law to back up my arguments. I memorized books of law and books of wisdom and tried to be subjective in everything that I argued. I wanted to appear more knowledgeable to the world. To me that was growing up.
When I was younger I could not wait to turn 18 and drink and party, and be an official adult. I could not wait to have an ID and be allowed to enter in places with adults only title. I could not wait to grow up. Because to me age equaled maturity. To me age equaled growing up.
When I was young I waited to have a boyfriend. An official one. I waited to grow up and have sex and no longer be a virgin. I waited for my friends to praise me, the day I would join the adult world . I waited to have my heart broken, and cry like I saw people do in movies and sometimes in person. I waited to have problems that adult had, and stop being told I was too young to understand whenever I asked why somebody cried after a break up.
When I was young I waited to join university. It was what every grown up did, well, I was in the village so it can’t be every, but you get what I mean mean. Married people, teachers and the aged were in campus. I wanted to join the league of the grown ups. To me growing up was so cool.
To me no life was better than the life of having children look up to you. Of getting married in a white wedding and watching the whole village coming to celebrate you… (Especially this one, i planned of my wedding throughout my childhood, I even knew that that song of Nathaniel Bassey called Wonderful Wonder will be played for me when walking down the aisle, don’t joke with me, it was that serious) I wanted to be a grown up…
And then time passed. I joined campus while very young and thus to most people I had not grown up. I turned 18 in second year with a bang in social media, never mind I was not known by many But the less than 1000 friends I had at that time knew from my account. I told them I was now 18 and now allowed to be picked for dinner. Never mind it was all an illusion. It was all In my mind. I was still not 18. I was turning 17 technically and everybody fell for that lie including my best friend. I had to delete that post and eat a humble pie later when i was elected as the Finance Secretary only for the school to find out i wasn’t 18 and the Dean and the lawyer had to write special letters to the bank so that I could be allowed to use my birth certificate instead of an ID. How lying can embarrass you eventually. Mhhh!
Funny enough when I got my ID last year, I didn’t have courage to go to any party or even get a boyfriend despite the long list of applicants🙂 I only got excited to have it in my pocket but i didn’t do any of those things i had dreamt to do as a child. At that time i was a student leader and i was invited for an event at night and I just didn’t like the noise or the idea of a drunk man making a move on me. It’s totally disgusting , even if the one who did had nice dreadlocks and beards😀, is a singer with several hits and is good looking. Quite a catch for any teenager! He got my number from a friend ( he could remember me at least) but when he called me the only thing I could visualize in my mind was the staggering man I had seen😀. I couldn’t just stand the whole environment yet i had dreamt all this while as a child- to attend a party and be a ‘grown up’ But i realised that wasn’t just my ideal idea of growing up so I left the place less than an hour. First impressions are very important. Now i know😃
And With time I have realized that growing up is so much different from what I had known. Growing up is far from the reality that as kids we are made to believe.
Growing up involves more than just eating and increasing in mass and body weight, growing up is more than passing the rites of life like circumcision. Growing up involves more than increasing the years you’ve lived in earth, growing up is more than increasing in height.. Growing up….
Growing up involves psychological and social make up. If you are a man let no one teach you that growing up is you getting beards, (though girls like me will likely tend to notice you😝 )let them not tell you that growing up is when you get a deep voice and a bulging body.
If you are a woman let no one tell you that growing up is getting hips or getting a boyfriend, or sleeping with anyone. You don’t have to anyway if you are not ready. You don’t have to follow the crowds to fit in their standards of how a grown up should behave. Coz growing up is more than physical aspect of it.
Growing up is when you are able to deal with various emotions some of which are so heartbreaking and have left bitter taste in your mouth but at the same time be able to hold yourself up not to spread the bitterness you have to the person next to you. It is learning to fight that bitterness everyday even if sometimes you are human and you will go back to zero, to square one and break down and you have to start the journey all over again.
Growing up involves having to undergo so many heartbreaking challenges from childhood or adulthood, and still be able to wake up every day with the hope of a better day, not complaining how unlucky you’ve been.
Growing up is learning that at times you need to let go of some people in you life so as to have peace of mind.
Growing up is finding your passion and not sticking in law or medicine because the society glorifies them yet that’s not where your heart is. Growing up is finding your passion, and happiness, and not settling at anything less than that even if you take years to figure out what you want to be.
Growing up is understanding finding your path may take longer than others, and simply because your friends seem to be doing better in social media than you, you don’t have to feel bad for yourself because you know our timing is different and nonetheless you will eventually be what God Planned you to be even if it takes 50 years. As long as you get there. It is being in sad situations but still go on to find what makes you happy and not sticking on things you have coz you fear change.
Growing up is learning self control and knowing important things like you can get annoyed without abusing people, and you can want somebody or something and let it go because it has potential of blocking bigger blessings. Or want somebody and train yourself to live without them because you know you have a lot of healing to do and you don’t want to spread your bitterness to them.
Growing up is choosing to stick to keep few people and let go of all those parasites around you, those who are only nice when they want a help from you and once you help they forget and change all over suddenly, until of course they get another problem.
And most importantly, growing up is knowing that God your Creator loves you even when you feel He has forgotten you and things have gone south and you don’t feel that He exists anymore. It is not blaming Him when your things don’t add up but instead trusting Him that all shall be okay. Growing up is that powerful, its that’s mind blowing it’s that revolutionizing.
Growing up gives a man or woman once broken by life the ability to love his own life, his family, and to be a great man and father or mother even when they come from broken homes. Growing up is learning the art of forgiveness, and learning your art of forgiveness, and leading your village and family to love God by not holding any grudge even when they refused to educate you or bring you up.
Some take 70 years to grow up, others 60, others take 50, 40 ,30, 20, others 10 and others take even a short time like 5 years. Whatever it is find your path of growth and explore it. It’s not easy, and that’s the beauty of it all.
And I hope today you will fall in love with growing up, instead of the idea of merely growing up. I am personally trying to.