Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Growing Up

When I was your age, I used to think “When I’m grown up I’ll know what I’ll want, I’ll be sorted.” But you never really know what you want, you never feel grown up, not really, you never sort it all out.

--Sarah Jane Smith

I ran across this quote on the Internet a few months ago and fell in love with it. It seemed to sum up all of my feelings on growing up and how I always hoped I would just *know* what I wanted to do, what I wanted in general and that I would, indeed, be sorted. It was a reminder that it is okay to not always know what you want, that it's okay if you never really sort it all out. Sarah Jane IS a grown up when she says this, so it must be okay to not feel grown up if a grown up is the one saying the words. 
I found it again a few weeks ago and instead of it being inspirational, I found it rather depressing! "You never sort it all out." How did I ever think that was an encouraging thought about growing up and adulthood things?

I have since printed this quote out and taped it to my monitor at work. I look at it almost every day and you know what? It stopped being encouraging. It stopped being depressing. It simply became a truth. Too often, I think, we place this grand emphasis on "growing up" and becoming some glorified version of every adult we ever wanted to be like. It doesn't happen like that. "You never really know what you want, you never feel grown up, not really..." You know what? I'm glad. I think we grow up with this vision that actual grown ups are boring and sad and have to pay bills all of the time. Which, in part, is true. But if that is really all that being grown up is, I don't want to be that person. And if you never really know what you want, it doesn't mean you don't try to find it.   

In the movie Anna and the King, Anna comments about her life taking her down roads that lead absolutely no where. In reference to their on-going discussion about the differences in their religions, she jokingly asks the king, "What would Buddha say of that?" The king answers with a knowing smile, "That roads are for journeys, ma'am, not destinations."