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Friday, October 26, 2012

growing up.

What does it mean to grow up? I've become the victim of this travesty , and I assume that it's normal since we all grow up at some point. But what does growing up mean? Is it the fact that years seem to impact us so severely, so that the older we are, the more grown up we are? 
Is it the fact that the more experiences we've had at earlier ages grows us, and that the more we "experience" the more we turn into adults? 

Or is it that we put away childish fancies and assume positions of adulthood that transform us into ripened, seasoned persons? 


I don't think growing up means what we normally tend to think it means. I don't think it means age. When people "come of age" to drive, drink, smoke, etc, it doesn't mean they are ready to treat those things with wisdom or discernment. On the contrary, so many people abuse the "privilege" of becoming an adult. 

I don't think growing up means putting away the things of a child and striving to become more direct and serious in your approach to life. 

I don't think growing up is the same as being an adult.

I think growing up happens without us really thinking about it. It's an accumulation of occurrences, emotions, decisions, likes, dislikes, reactions and thoughts. It happens when you don't expect it. 

It happens when you start accumulating new likes and dislikes concerning your opinions, interests, styles, habits...when you realize the good and bad things in life and how to make a choice based on your own opinion rather than someone else's. 


It happens when you think of others first rather than yourself and what pleases you. 


It happens when you take responsibility for your actions, and accept, perhaps with challenge, the outcomes of your decisions. 


Growing up doesn't mean you should stop being who you are and turn into a completely new person with new loves. Instead, I think it means adding to your list, and refining what you love ever so gently with each passing year. For example, I still like pretending that I'm another person and dressing up in ridiculous outfits. I still love Disney and children's storybooks with lots of illustrations and simple words. Jumping in puddles, making mud pies or running around slaying dragons will never become boring. Neither will tea parties or writing in a journal. But there are new things I've fallen for... having insightful conversations with people who are much wiser than I; people who are smart, the elderly, or those who have experienced the world. I love natural and rugged things, like camping and hiking and the great outdoors, but mason jars with candles burning on a front porch while snuggled up in a blanket make me happy too. I, of course, enjoy being comfortable, but I've also learned that I actually like being uncomfortable, being tested and uncertain, and having to make choices on my own. I like living in a county by myself with no familiar faces, and having to be independent, but I also love the things that make me feel five again. I like feeling confident because of new things that I learn; of experiencing a different culture, feeling like a grown up, drinking wine and being well mannered by eating delicacies and talking of the finer things in life. I also just like wearing sweats, eating greasy fried chicken with gravy and mashed potatoes, and like that I still, and will always, actually need and want my mom for many things.


Growing up...it's a weird sensation. Good or bad? I think it's something that I'm learning to not be afraid of, something that I am slowly accepting and enjoying in my surroundings. However, I don't think growing up should hinder us from who we are. Does that make sense? 


I always used to be afraid of growing up. I felt like Peter Pan. Not even kidding. If I could have found Tinker Bell, I would have gladly flown off to that second star to the right and strait on til morning, because I wanted to be a child forever. What I didn't realize at the time is that children don't have the option of being adults, because they've never been there. When you're older, you have the choice to be or act younger because you've already been there. And that's where the fun is. 


However, I think that adults often get caught up with being adults and carrying on the cliché meaning of the word. They forget to have fun, they forget to be innocent because the world has robbed them of most of theirs, if not all; they forget to be carefree and not uptight; they forget to not worry and just let moments slip by without clocking everything. They forget to be kids.


"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." 

- George Bernard Shaw


Don't stop playing. 


"When we are children we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves u free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind." 

- Patrick Rothfuss



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012

mothers.

Mother. The word mulls around in my head and I try to think of how to expound upon it. The first thing that pops up is Marmie, because that's what I call my mother.

Mother. A copious amount of emotions are mingled with that word. At once I feel calmed and at peace. I feel content. I feel loved. Appreciated. Encouraged. Taken care of... It's amazing how one person can impact you so fully. There are moments when I was a child when I felt as though I could do anything when she was with me. Anything was possible and limitless. Then there were moments when all I wanted to do was shrink to the size of an ant so she wouldn't notice me or scold me in my youthful follies.

They have the ability to put you in your place like no ones business. Just the other day, even as an eighteen year old, I said something that I shouldn't have, and when I was sweetly corrected by my Marmie, I became five years old again and had just accidentally dropped a laundry basket lid on her head from upstairs. She didn't have to yell, run up the stairs, or reprimand me...she just had to look me in the eye with that altogether "motherly glare" and it was enough.

Gosh, I miss that glare at this moment. I'd give anything to see her face in real life, not just over a computer screen.

Perhaps every daughter, or every child, has a reason to brag about their mother in some way, being that they are slightly biased to their own kin. There are so many older women in my life whom I revere and respect with the utmost ranking. I view them as mothers, as role models and masterpieces of what a true woman should look like. They have my love and affection... but my mother, my dear sweet mother, she has all of me.

When I was about four, living in Fredericksburg, Virginia, I remember that sometime around the fall or winter months, I was terribly sick. I can picture laying in my bed in a very girly, silky pink nightgown and feeling dreadful. It was a late night when Marmie and Pappie had been out at a dinner party for the Marine Corps. They had only been gone for a few hours, but it felt like an eternity to me.  I don't know how to describe it other than my mother walking in, sitting on the side of the bed, leaning over me with hands placed on either side of me, and whispering in my ear to ask how I was feeling. Even now, I can still remember the waft of air that spread over me when she leaned over my head; I'm sure the delicious smell was one of her perfumes, but to it honestly just seemed like the essence of who she was - pure comfort and goodness embodied in a wonderful women. 

It's funny, I've heard that as we grow up, our perceptions of our parents can decrease, because we grow older and mature and notice the flaws of our parents; we are quick to criticize, to think we are right, to not give them respect, and to call them out in their mistakes. The older we become, the more our parents aren't the superheroes we so cherished. Or so I've heard. Somehow that hasn't happened in my case. On the contrary, I've found that my appreciation for my parents has only enlarged, and will only continue to enlarge. It's not because my mother is perfect, because she always says the right thing, or does the right thing, or is always in control and strong. It's because she isn't those things. 

Maybe that sounds odd, but it's true. My mother is the most real and genuine woman I know, and that is  what makes her so appealing and captivating in my eyes and heart. There are moments when I am down and confused and she says the most wonderful things to get me out of myself and into reality. There are moments when I am feeling wretched and she seems to make things worse by saying something I don't want to hear. There are moments when I have an awful attitude and she just makes it worse by just being there - when all I want to do is be by myself. And then there are moments when she's left me alone with my anger when I wish she would just come talk to me. All in all, though, she is always there for me. In the moment, I may feel quite the opposite of that - but in the end it's always for my betterment. Somehow... her treatment of me always turns out the best.

My mother is the best listener; she makes me feel like I have a voice, and that that voice is important. My mother is the best talker; she speaks words of wisdom that I believe are born of the Spirit, and thus inspire not only myself, but any person around her. 
My mother is the best worker; always taking care of others and serving with a heart of love. Of course there are moments of frustration, but she always perseveres through whatever task is given her, and she has learned how to be content with being by herself in her work. 
My mother is the best lover; she knows the perfect cure for sickness, for sadness, for anger, for problems... she knows the perfect encouragement for joyfulness, for contentedness, for peace, for thanksgiving. She knows how to love others, and she knows how to do it well. 
My mother is the best encourager, never ceasing in uplifting others and spurring them on the road that is before them. 
My mother.... she is everything that God could have possibly given me. 
My mother is the best friend. And she is my best friend.

I love her warm, soft hands; her beautiful smile; her infectious laugh; her ability to make the most delicious home-made meals; the fact that she wears lipstick rather than lip balm or lip gloss; the way she doodles on paper while talking on the phone, or how she fiddles with objects around her when she is deep in conversation with someone; the love she holds for animals, for the elderly, for God; the way she calls me "Lucy"; the fact that she never wears make up; the way she looks at me when she's proud; the quiet strength and peace that she possesses from years of hardships; the way she lovingly gives advice and imparts wisdom... I love her. 

My mother is the simplest women, and yet the most complex, as I am having a hard time defining her in mere words. I suppose the word "Mother" is enough? Because she is the very meaning of all that that word envelops. 

"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts." 

Washington Irving

"My mother... she is beautiful, softened at the edges and tempered with a spine of steel. I want to grow old be like her."

Jodi Picoult

Sunday, October 7, 2012