Turning eighteen can be really difficult, but also a lot of fun. For some it might seem like the crossroads of childhood and adulthood, signifying the end of all the fun times of being a child.
Here’s a little piece of advice that my brilliant mother taught me to follow. She taught me by example so I was prepared to turn eighteen and make that sometimes scary transition into adulthood.
Just to give some background, here’s some qualities of my Mom:
She is a voracious reader and loves to learn new things.
She is incredibly passionate about her work, sometimes to the annoyance of her children.
She still speaks and learns and loves and laughs with youthfulness that will never leave her.
She’s not afraid to sound naive or scared or hurt.
She’s like a little child inside still.
As a side note, I don’t mean to say that she’s immature, in fact, far from it. Her maturity is actually a lot of the reason I’ve learned so much from her through the years, including this one piece of advice, given through example, that I will try to never let go of.
It’s that she’ll never really grow up on the inside. She’s always a kid at heart. It’s probably why she fit in so well when she worked with a group of twenty-somethings at a press-clipping company a few years back. And why she’s still friends with them.
What’s her way of answering when somebody asks what people want to be when they grow up?
IF I grow up...
I can tell that she has kept that child inside of her all this time. That child filled with wonder and awe and amazement. And also the child that’s not afraid to show a little hurt and pain. I am reminded of this every time I hear her talk about her perspective on adulthood. She believes that most of us are just as unsure as we were when we were kids, we’re just better at pretending we know what we’re doing.
It’s that child inside her that I’ve learned so much from and that led me to consciously choose when I turned 18 that I would never really grow up on the inside either. Some years of my life I have to recommit to that decision I made a decade ago, but every time I do it’s well worth it.
It’s a decision that has benefited my life ever since.