Thursday, September 08, 2005

I feel like a watermelon...and I like it!

Hello all! Today is the day. At midnight last night, I left teenagedom behind me forever, and entered the world of the 20's! Kinda freaky, if you ask me. I've been alive for 2 decades. A lot can happen in two decades. And let me tell you, a lot has.
When I woke up this morning, I lay in bed for a few minutes thinking about being 20 years old. I'm not sure if I can articulate my thoughts, but I'll give it a shot. Somehow, I couldn't quite wrap my mind around the fact that I am now no longer a teenager. I had a nice few years there when I could affiliate myself with 2 groups...the teenagers and the young adults. I'm excited to renounce teenhood and become a full-fledged young adult, but I feel like I shouldn't be yet.
When I get right down to it, I know that it's just one year older and it doesn't really have all that significant an effect on my life, but laying in bed this morning, it sure seemed to. I just thought about all the "episodes" that have played out in my life thus far, and I feel like turning 20 years old is the start of a new one. People's lives come in phases, you know what I mean? There are the phases that everyone shares...childhood, teenagehood, young adulthood, etc. etc. But individuals have their own personal phases too. Periods of their lives that are characterized by a particular frame of mind, or a particular social experience. It's sort of difficult to identify those phases in your own life if you sit down and try, and yet in spite of that, you know they were there. For example, I know I had a sort of mild "hippie" phase, that blended a little bit with my mild witchcraft phase. Both took place during the years that I was inactive in the Church. But it the other episodes get a little hazy when I try to actually map them out.
I keep thinking the last week or so about how immature and stupid I was this last school year. I realize my behavior and frame of mind were perfectly average for a 19-year-old, and that's just what infuriates me. I share Luisa's sentiment from "The Fantasticks"..."Please God, please! Don't let ME be normal!" And this too, is a "curiuos paradox"; that by wanting to be out of the ordinary, I'm like almost every other girl on the planet. Here's the other paradox: My stating I was so immature a year ago just shows how much maturing I still have to do.
In closing, I'll share the words of Miss L.M. Montgomery, who's much more articulate than I am, and whose sentiments I share. Here's a little excerpt from "Anne of the Island." Aunt Jamesina is the girls' elderly chaperone while they're at college, and the following is a conversation between her and Anne.

"To think that this is my twentieth birthday, and that I've left my teens behind me forever," said Anne, who was curled up on the hearth-rug with Rusty in her lap, to Aunt Jamesina who was reading in her pet chair. They were alone in the living room. Stella and Priscilla had gone to a committee meeting and Phile was upstairs adorning herself for a party.
"I suppose you feel kind of sorry," said Aunt Jamesina. "The teens are such a nice part of life. I'm glad I've never gone out of them myself."
Anne laughed.
"You never will, Aunty. You'll be eighteen when you should be a hundred. Yes, I'm sorry, and a little dissatisfied as well. Miss Stacey told me long ago that by the time I was twenty my character would be formed, for good or evil. I don't feel that it's what it should be. It's full of flaws."
"So's everybody's," said Aunt Jamesina cheerfully. "Mine's cracked in a hundred places. Your Miss Stacey likely meant that when you are twenty your character would have got its permanent bent in one direction or 'tother, and would go on developing in that line. Don't worry over it, Anne. Do your duty by God and your neighbor and yourself, and have a good time. That's my philosophy and it's always worked pretty well."

Comforting to see things in that simple way, isn't it? I'm just grateful that I can always grow and change, and I just pray and try to live so that I change for the better, though I fall short far more often than not.

1 comment:

Beckah said...

Ah! You're twenty! How weird. It makes ME feel old. So stop growing up! Cause that means I'm not too far behind. But enjoy life, serve God, and don't get married too soon! ; )