Growing Up

"I'm interested," said Lloyd as I talked him over dinner, "what's your definition of growing up?" His question came after my response to him that I feel like I have been growing up a lot lately. I have had a lot of my mind, what with graduating, responsibilities at school, and other personal things, and I told him it has been a lot. "I guess I mean, I never felt like the line between childhood and adulthood was this blurry. I am getting to be the same age as my father was in pictures of when he was holding me as a kid, and I still feel like I want to be a kid rather than an adult."Lloyd understood where I was coming from, even though I probably went on a bit too long and repeating things a few too many times, and he had an interesting perspective. "When I was your age," he said looking off to a far wall, "boys were going overseas, shooting guns, burning down villages and fighting in a war...even today actually I received a e-mail reply from a boy that is in Iraq saying where I can shove the FAFSA, he's just trying to stay alive." It's interesting, he went on, to think about all of the people in this world and the varying conditions in which they live. Story after story, he explained the world he has seen and the horrible things he has watched in front of him whether it was him just visiting China on vacation years ago or watching the news late at night last week. Growing up is something that will always be happening, he said, and how we deal with that responsibility as it comes is the important thing.

I may not be a kid anymore, but I don’t think I am quite an adult yet either. I look forward to the many responsibilities coming my way with a curious anxiety and hopeful uncertainty. Maybe the line between childhood and adulthood will always be blurry but I hope my thoughts and actions will become more and more clear as I grow older and wiser. I might not be doing anything incredible like shooting guns or burning down villages, but I have a feeling my actions can change the world just the same.