To Become

Become [bi-kuhm]

-Verb
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?

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “To Become

  1. BigLittleWolf

    A wonderful post. You have so much ahead!As for how I've changed, I've covered it in the past 3 days of writing – more than sufficiently. Suffice it to say, I have survived, a bit the worse for wear, but I suppose with some wisdom. And my sons, despite a hard road – are my joy. My challenge, as I let them go more and more, will be to find a workable self, with the constraints that are part of my reality, that brings satisfaction and gives something back.Happy new year – to you and yours!

  2. theycallmejane

    What a beautiful, reflective post! And perfect for today. You may be young but you have a wise and wonderful old soul.

  3. Ambrosia

    Thank you Jane! Old? Yes. Wise? Still working on that.

  4. Linda Pressman

    Hi Ambrosia, thank you for this lovely reflection and these questions. I decade ago I was trapped in a job I hated and which I thought I'd never be free of. I wanted to be a writer but had never written a word. Nine years ago I took my first writing class and then got my master's in English five years ago, when I finally quit that job. Now I'm a writer. It was a decade about confronting fear and it taught me that you can run but you can't hide your whole life from your life's purpose.

  5. Charlotte

    Ten years ago I was almost exactly where you are now. I was never much of a teenager, either. All the silly games seemed, well, silly. In the last decade I've added 4 more children and moved from poor medical student family to the doctor's wife (although I still find many of the "games" just a little too silly.)

  6. Kristen

    I so appreciate you and your "old soul." I feel such a camaraderie with you and I'm a good decade older than you. (And I always thought *I* was old for my age!)The past decade brought me marriage, two children, a career I loved, and a hobby that has become a passion. I'm not sure how the next one will top it, but I'm looking forward to the challenges ahead.

  7. Nicki

    What wonderful words and thoughts! Strangely enough, I have children older than you are and your age but I love reading your words. They take me back to a place in my life I sometimes miss – when the children were little and things slightly more simple.The past decade has been tumultuous at best. There were, as in the past year, ups and downs. While the downs probably outnumbered the ups, I am happy to say I lived these past ten years and am truly looking forward to the next ten.

  8. TKW

    How is it that you are more mature at 22 than I am at 40?!! :)I was also a very serious and studious teenager and college student. In fact, I don't think I found my lighter side until I was in my mid-30's. I guess that's what kids do to you–you can't be serious among the hilarity and foibles of the children.Happy New Year!

  9. Yvonne

    Are you sure you are only 22????? To 'become more at ease with yourself and your flaws" is such a wonderful thing. Happy New Year.