1. to come, to change, or grow to be
2. to come into being
As in all family gatherings, my siblings, parents, and I discussed the past. We laughed over certain memories, things said, tricks played. During the course of these conversations, my mother and siblings informed me that I was never “young.” During my teenage years, I didn’t do the silly things that most teenagers do. I went from 12 to 20 in an instant.
It is true. Even when I was at the height of my teenage years, I wasn’t tempted to indulge in silly games, fantasies, or naughty things. I was a very straight arrow, if you will. I had goals to graduate from college, train to be a therapist, and help those in need. I desired to one day marry and start a family. My eventual goal was to be a wife and mother.
Oh, I made mistakes. I just didn’t have that care-free attitude like most of my peers. I thought through my decisions, weighing the goods and bads. I stayed away from trouble. I followed the rules.
The end of a decade has arrived. 10 years ago I was entering my teenage years. 10 years ago I was 12, unafraid, and willing to survive anything life wanted to throw my direction.
Not much has changed. I am a little more cautious, have a little less energy, and I feel much more confident. I am still young, but I feel old. My college years have once again been unusual for most college attendees. Rather than partying, I studied. I kept my standards. I married a wonderful man and we started a family. I am a nontraditional 22-year old.
The phrase “I was never young” has stayed with me. We are all celebrating the end of a decade, the start of a new one. We are all thinking about the last 10 years, how we spent them, and what we learned. I am thinking about what I have become. Did the loss of my teenage years help me? Hinder me? Am I still an old youngster?
During this last decade, I became a teenager.
I became a high school graduate, the first of my siblings.
I became a college student. I quickly learned how to study “right.” How to take exams. How to write.
I became a wife.
Most importantly, I became a mother. A young mother. I have borne two children. I have a girl and a boy. As a mother, I do not feel old. I feel new. I know I have many things to learn. Many lessons to teach. These two children are the light in my life. I can shape their future, postively or negatively.
Many of the things I became were instant. Yet, I needed to grow. I have listed the roles I became. But, I became so much more. During this last decade, I came into being. I became who I am today. Myself.
I became less selfish.
I became more honest.
I became more virtous.
I became more at ease with myself and all my flaws.
I became comfortable in my own skin, sans makeup.
I became my own person. I no longer need the validation of other people to mold my own opinion of myself.
To answer my own question, the loss of my teenage years has helped me. It aided me in making a quick transition into motherhood without too many hang-ups. While I never felt “young,” I also never made a decision I regret. I can look back without sadness. In many ways, I still am an old youngster. I don’t participate in frivolous activities. I am very practical. Oh, but I have learned to have fun. Becoming a wife and mother has taught me to, figuratively, let my hair down. I am glad those 10 years are over. I am anticipating the next 10 years and what they will bring.
A decade gone. A new decade to look forward to. I am excited, eager, and hopeful. Welcome, 2010.
What have you become this last decade?
How have you “came into being?”
How have you changed?