Maturity: Two steps ahead, one behind

maturityFairy tales make us believe that everything is possible. Their main quote is the following: never grow up! But in real life things are a little bit different and evolve, sometimes, even without our own willing. Moreover,  we don’t have a magic spell or a fairy godmother, and to say the least, a gold fish to fulfill 3 wishes of ours.  So, outside the story frame we encounter both good and bad, but the happy ending isn’t always prescribed. To get to the point of this article, letting go of the “fairy tale”, and by fairy tale, I don’t necessarily refer to its childish substance, but to its whole package of meanings: little by age, naivety, simplicity, irresponsibility, freedom we step into the real world and pass to the next chapter in life: maturity.

The transition of maturity is a process we all are going through, sooner or later, depending on a lot of terms and social parental parameters. Education holds the big role but, in the end, it is up to us to decide when and how we will start.

For me, the last few months have proved to be very demanding, in terms of life choices and changes. I’ve reached the age of 20 and the first level in the transition of maturity . I got to live certain experiences that have shown me what is behind the curtain and where I stand at this point in my life.  I did two internships and now I have a job. I am an editor at both a local newspaper and an online magazine, I am also a blogger and I want to pursue a career in journalism. But I will not make this piece entirely about my choices. I want to discus about the concept of maturity and add a little intervention of my own self, guiding you through some of my own stories, thoughts and revelations.

The child inside me holds me back, begs me not to go, but my mind is constantly pushing me in front of the line: Grow up!  It whispers, saying : you can’t go back now, be what you were meant to be, just be! Those are a few words of my daily consternation basis. I deal with them at every round of plan making and emotional intervention, whether we are talking about love or friendship.

Since I can remember, when I settle at something or I target a certain goal or aspiration, I put my mind to it until I succeed in obtaining it. Now, things appear from a different perspective: after I receive compliments about my work, about my writing and when I see how people interpret what I do and what I say, professionally speaking, I get enthusiastic but, at the same time, scared. It rises to my mind: is that me, am I really there? Am I really seeing and debating certain subjects, that in the past, were unknown or not even noticed by me? How come I never saw this and that and never thought of it?

So, I tend to take “a step back”, I feel the insecurity inside my mind and soul, I reflect a lot on the situation and I ask myself a lot of questions, how is this possible, why and how can I become better in order to be more in control? And then I realize, you can never be in control. Wishes and visionary outlook aren’t sufficient. Work, work, work, dedication, a lot of passion, and, most important, sacrifices. That type of sacrifices which I heard a lot about when a was a little kid. Therefore, I start little by little making them and what a receive isn’t always a pleasant surprise, like the fact that there will be people willing to give up on you or whom you’ll lose along the way. Therefore, what certain decisions appeared to be taken so far when I was young, now, there are more present than ever and playing against the clock.

The funny thing occurs when I see how people treat me differently. Some people expect to see more from me, since I am 20 years old, and sometimes I’m  even called by “lady”. Those are the moments when I detach from myself, I look at me from the outside and analyse. But there are also other people who manage to see deep inside me and still refer to me as to a young one.  Therefore, for some reason, it starts to be a little confusing  for me and hard, at the same time, to learn to know every person and what every person expects from you and to know how to handle the situation and how to behave, like a teenager or an adult, or both?

Responsibilities and hard tasks I’m ready to take, but the effects and the entire process are sometimes hard to digest. Especially when you see how others are behaving and you start ,again, asking yourself some questions: am I moving too fast or too slow? So many questions, so little time. Like Frank Zappa would say: “so many books, so little time”. Another element which strongly interferes now and didn’t bother me that much before, unfortunately: the books. I can see how discussions are played now by other rules, are implying knowledge, information and things we are supposed to learn progressively, by stepping out of the scholarly context and exploring more, wanting to know more.

All in all, I think maturity means final decisions and trustful reliance.  Once you’ve given your word, you cannot go back, without a strong support to excuse your negligence. You cannot adopt anymore the “excuse”, as you used in the past, like” she is little, please forgive her, she doesn’t know the way around”. By this, I don’t imply that excuses are out of the market or discussion, not at all, but certain verbal escapes must now be treated in a more tactful way, with more precision and attention, otherwise, you won’t be taken seriously and people won’t trust you.

For all of the above, that is way I feel, sometimes,  like  I am taking two steps ahead and one behind. I embrace the transition of maturity , but I leave a little treat for me at the door, I let my expressions and feelings sometimes, to run wild and free, to be less sloppy, I let them out. More precisely, i can’t entirely stop my childish emotions and reactions in front of the adulthood, I jump around, from time to time, with my smile and innocence, but not for too long. The other half of me steps in again before I even noticed its absence: Wake up, grow up, get a job or do something.

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46 thoughts on “Maturity: Two steps ahead, one behind

  1. This blogs speaks to me and I am sure a range of ages. I can see this internal conflict between “adulthood” and “childhood” in my parents, administrators, teachers, strangers, and especially myself. But we should never feel like we have to lose (grow out) our sense of “fun.” Those individuals that lose that young spirit are the ones we call bitter/miserable. In my opinion there is no real definition of “adulthood.” Instead of focusing on being an “adult”, we should focus on ourselves, our passions, our spirits! When we become our true selves people will treat you as just that – whatever that may be. And if you are of good heart, responsible, caring, understanding, etc., people will notice – you will eventually be deemed when you’re older “they are young at heart.” It is a marvelous compliment because the other acknowledges that you are an “adult” yet still have that spark that brings light, beauty, and innocence. This is an amazing post!!

  2. Amen. I’m a bit older than you but I relate to each piece you’ve highlighted in your blog. Congratulations on your new career – I wish you the best of luck.

    Don’t get caught up in the notion that “get a job” is the be all end all of what life is about. Be mindful of what you need for your own personal fulfilment. 🙂

    -W

  3. That is always been the case for us human beings. When we are young we want to act grown up. When we are older, how we wish to be young and foolish again. You shouldn’t be in a hurry to mature or think as an adult. Believe me you will get there, whether you like it or not. 🙂

    • I try not to be in a hurry and I don’t want to be in a hurry to reach that stage of maturity, but sometimes, I can’t control it…but I know that i’ll never lose that child inside me.

  4. You are fortunate to have the luxury of this type of introspection; sometimes maturity, in the form of hardship or loss, is thrust upon us forcing a quick transition out of childhood.
    I get your point about the magic of fairy tales but have always questioned their messages which are frequently antisocial; Jack, of the beanstalk, was a lazy good for nothing and a thief; Little Red Riding Hood a disobedient child; Goldilocks, another disobedient child and thief; Puss in Boots an arch con artist and so on.
    Your write well and so I congratulate you on your chosen profession.
    Cheerio
    Jane

    • I thank you so much for all you have said but you see, the thing with fairy tales is that we only capture their magic in our earliest years, after we grow up, we manage to dig more into the story and notice how those things, like the ones mentioned by you, appear from a different perspective. I thank you again, Jane!

  5. Wow very well said! If you didn’t mention you’re 20 yrs old, I’d think you’re even older than that with the way you think. It’s a compliment actually. 🙂 I always believe that to grow up, we need to learn and unlearn things. Never stop learning new things that will help us along the way. And unlearn those that we have learned in the past that is no longer helpful but that doesn’t mean we have to forget them. There are times that people think they’re so good at things because they have done them in the past however they are not willing to let go and keeps on pushing with what they believe is right, even if it’s the reason why they’re not progressing. Acknowledging that we have so many things ahead of us even if we’re successful is one of the best steps to grow up even if we’re already grown ups. 🙂

  6. Okay, everyone can shoot me. The reality is though, that your numerous grammatical errors DO mean something. They must be taken into consideration if your goal is to be a serious writer. If journalism is your real goal, you’d better believe that these errors will leap out at professional editors and publishers. That’s just how it is.
    I wish you the very best.XXOO

    • no one will shoot you, i’m expecting all kind of comments, but let me tell you that i’m not an english speaker, i am a roumanian… so i have a lot of writing to do( in english,clearly) to become better and better so i won’t make any kind of mistakes. Thank you:)

      • Oh! My goodness! Looked at from that perspective, your English is very good. I only wish I were half as good in Spanish. I truly think you should refine your own voice in your first language – there’s nothing like a first language for a writer – and then move on to English. The world should stop accommodating this notion that English is the only way to go – it’s not! At age 20, what’s wrong with focusing your audience on the speakers of your first language? This is just a result of US imperialism , anyway.
        You know, if you start writing compelling material reporting on your country, English language venues will begin translating it – at least in the US, we know very little about your country. It is inherently interesting to us.
        But, if you want to keep on in English, let me know. I’m an experienced professional copyeditor and former staff journalist, and have made this free offer to Christian once before. It remains open to young people from your country. BE WELL !

      • Thank you very much for your appreciation, it means a lot to me. I already have a blog where i write in my own language, this is how i started, in the first place. Then, other opportunities, like this one, came along and i hit the road. I definitely agree with you, but the entire process of translation, i think, will never guarantee the same quality as the one offered in the main language. This is my blog http://ralucapancu.wordpress.com/. And of course, i want to keep on in English and i thank you for your offer  Have a wonderful day!

  7. such a great post! your reflection of your adolescence and acute acknowledgements of your present self, seems you’ll excel in maturity and step into greatness.

    • When it comes to real career decisions, the dream of success, don’t take this in a superficial way, may imply, sometimes, a little rush here and there in order to reach the top.

  8. Pingback: Fairy from My childhood | Tattoo My Mind

  9. Overall, I like the topic and how you presented it but there are quite a number of typos you should work on.
    “freedom AS we step into the real world”
    “The transition of maturity” or the transition TO maturity?
    “depending on a lot of terms and social AND parental parameters”
    “Education holds THE big role” vs Education plays a big role
    “Those are a few words of my daily consternation basis” seems just outrightly incorrect.
    “That type of sacrifices which I heard a lot about when a was a little kid” should probably be “Those types…”
    This is by no means an exhaustive list, in several places your meaning was somewhat obscured by your choice and use of words.
    But as I later learned, English isn’t your first language…not bad.

    To be sure I understand you though, this post is about the struggles you face as you move on from childhood, or is it teenhood?, handle additional responsibility -and compliments that come wit it- , come to grasp with reality letting go of fantasy and…basically just grow up?
    I certainly can and do, relate well to that.

  10. A lot of fairy stories can be seen as part of the process of growing up. In pictures and ideas a child can understand, they introduce things a child growing up must confront – deceit, danger, greed, sexuality, yearning, loss. This sounds negative, but children find being scared by monsters exciting. What we need to grow out of it the idea that for us if not for other characters, there is always a happy ending.

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