Grown-Up

When are we officially grown up?  When exactly does it happen?  After highs school?  After college?  After we get married?  After we buy a house and have a job?  What happens if you never accomplish any of those things?  What exactly is the definition of grown-up?  Dictionary.com says grown-up:  adjective
1.  having reached the age of maturity.  2.  characteristic of or suitable for adults: grown-up behavior; grown-up fiction.  Honestly, what does that mean?  What is the age of maturity and who decides when one has reached this age?

Aren’t we continually growing up?  I think the day we die is the day we stop growing up.  If we are realistic about things aren’t we always growing, physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally?  Do we really stop learning new things, connecting with others, aging, or making a spiritual connection at a certain point in life?  Isn’t life about changing and growing?  But, when exactly are we considered by the rest of the world, grown-up?

I don’t have an answer.  I guess it could be 18, when a person is old enough to vote or be drafted, but then again they aren’t old enough to drink so are they grown up?  Although, if you live in Sicily your able to drink at 15 but can’t get a drivers license until you are 18.  So is there a magical number for grown-up?

When I was a teenager I never felt like I fit in, I always felt older then everyone else, I didn’t get a lot of what teenagers did.  At my ten year reunion many of my classmates acted the same way they did in high school, again I didn’t feel like I fit in.  I missed my 20th reunion because of my miscarriage, so I’m not sure how everyone behaved or if I would have felt like I fit in or not.  I know in life I’ve come across a great many people that have acted like children even though their physical age was that of an adult.  I’ve also come across many young people that act well beyond their physical years.  I’ve met old people and young people alike that are full of wisdom.  But, I’ve also met old and young people that aren’t too bright or mature.  I’ve met some that act very mature and others, well my three year old acts more mature than some of them.

Pondering this, I still don’t have the answer, really.  I do know this though, when I went to my 25th high school reunion, people who didn’t give me the time of day in school, talked to me.  Not just small talk either, they really talked to me and were interested in what I had to say.  All the clique barriers were somehow broken.  Maybe that’s when you know your grown-up, when the jocks talk to the nerds, the Goths talk to the band geeks, the cheerleaders talk to the punks.  When everyone gets along, has fun reminiscing about the good-ol' days and catching up on what's going on in their lives today.

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