This December, I am participating in a month-long writing challenge (#reverbbroads11), alongside a bunch of strong, inspiring women. Today’s prompt is from Bethany: How did you become more of a grown-up this year? Or did you pull a Peter Pan and stubbornly remain childlike?
For one reason or another, I have almost always been more mature than my age. Maybe it is because of my year in school and being in a grade younger than most students my age. It could be some of the experiences I've been through in my life. It might be the fact that I am the only child. Whatever the reason, I have always gotten along better with people who are older than I. Now, don't get me wrong, some of my best friends are younger than I (either by a few months or a few years), but during my graduate program, I was closest with my classmates who were in the upper half of age in the program or had taken some time off from school and had worked in between each of their degrees. It was from these friendships that I realized I need to relax more and enjoy life. I need to be less of a grown-up and more childlike to be more relaxed as well as be able to connect with the students I aim to work with in the future. For me, becoming more "childlike" included not being so uptight regarding scheduling my every move, being flexible and willing to change plans at any moment, letting others take over the planning process, and letting go of the past by being okay with separating myself from former friends. I have found that by letting things go and continuing to move forward with my life, living in the present, and not planning (as much) for my future, I am still able to remain a grown-up while embracing my inner child.