There is a trend in my generation that I'm not quite sure I understand. We are immature, we are scared, we are apathetic. And we refuse to grow up. Let's get something straight right off the bat - I'm not immune.I am 22 years old, I live with my parents [and the rest of my family which is beside the point, but somehow made me feel better =P], I hold a fairly dead end part time job, I did just complete my associates degree - but I truly have no idea how to channel my passions into a career, I sometimes make bad decisions and choose to be irresponsible, and I just can't seem to grasp some basic foundations of a healthy life. It short, this strange phenomenon afflicts me too.
But I WANT to grow up. I have no desire to identify myself to anyone as a "kid" I don't want to live my life as a twenty or even thirty something pretending that I'm really five years younger and giving myself an excuse for immaturity.
There are some mile stones that our culture identifies as part of being an adult. Things like turning 18, moving out on our own, holding down a job, paying the bills, going to college, etc. All good things, all part of becoming a growing, functioning, and mature part of society. But I don't know that I'd say that those are the things that determine adulthood. I think that, from my point of view anyhow [and perhaps this is because I fall short on many of society's standards and want to believe that I am still an adult in my own right. Or I suppose I could be on to something here. It could be some of both, it could be none of either], emotional maturity is what kind of defines adulthood for me. Am I the same person no matter who I'm with? Am I the same person when I'm alone? Am I the same person when I talk to God? When I talk to my parents? When I talk to strangers? Or do I just play a role, fill a need?
I realize that everyone has different gifts and abilities that they bring to the table. So in different combinations of people, the "role" we play might be different. But I think that my generation is just filled to the brim with floaters. We flit, just waiting for someone to tell us what to do. Why on earth is that ok? Why do we not lead, why do we not fight? What the heck happened? My parents' generation was a working one. When they wanted or needed or needed something, they worked until they got it, and then worked more. But we, gosh, we are not that disciplined. We go, "it's haaaarrrdd" or "I don't like iiitttt" and then we quit. Or we get distracted or bored, and then we quit. There is a shocking lack of focus, of direction, of perseverance.
Maybe I shouldn't way "we", maybe these are my issues alone [but to say I'm the only person struggling with something sure sounds awfully conceited and inaccurate] but I don't think so because, unless I'm just super blind, I see it in other people my age as well.
I work in a middle school and even though my contact with the students is fairly limited, it is pretty obvious that this up coming generation is feisty! They are entitled, spoiled, and often arrogant, but by golly they're fighters.
I want to be like that. I don't want to be passive. I don't want to be immature and just kinda float around just because I don't know what else to do. I want to hunt something down, I want to pursue and chase, I want to commit. I refuse to be a statistic. I want to be a servant, I want to grow, and I want to embody the small amount of Christ's goodness that I am capable of.
I do not want to settle. I do not want to be one person with one friend, and a different person with another. I don't want my maturity to depend on what those around me are doing. I want to stand on my own feet and I want to be confident enough to not have to wait around for someone to tell me what to do. I don't want my growth to be paced by the growth of others. I want to grow as quickly or as slowly as God deems good for me.
I think that is something my generation for some reason lacks - we don't have a lot of willing leaders. We have a lot of insecure women and a lot of scared men. And our origins aren't an excuse - they might be a reason, but as soon as we can recognize it, we no longer have an excuse for not changing, for not growing. It's on us.
I've often been known to say, "I'm grown" to my family. Half in jest, half in seriousness. I am legally an adult, I've contributed to the household bills [not much, but some] since I had my first job and I've done an ok job at being responsible for my decisions and the consequences that might come from them. I have zero desire to back track or to be called [by myself or others] a "kid". I want to be responsible [that doesn't mean boring] and I want to be a good influence because I want to see others reach their full potential. But I am guilty of being selfish and lazy and at times apathetic. And I've decided that enough is enough. I don't need to wait around for someone to tell me to knock it off. I don't need to be led on a leash to truly be "grown".
By no means am I proclaiming myself to be a revolutionary leader, that idea actually terrifies me [there's that insecure women thing coming up]. But I am deciding for myself that I'm sick of complacency. I'm sick of dreaming and thinking, "if only". I want to be intentional and I want to do it without anyone telling me I should. And I think that it'd just be fabulous if other people my age would take this up as well! We have such talent and intelligence lurking under a stagnant facade. Imagine what a force we could be, imagine the good we could do- the causes we could surround, imagine the lives that could change - definitely not excluding our own. I don't want to roam, I want to search. I don't want to float, I want to explore.
And I don't want to do it solely for my benefit, and I don't want to do it alone.
I'm Netti, and I'm 22 years old. I love to write and to have adventures and stay up late and listen to stories. I love change and I love passion and the honor of helping and seeing others realize their potential.
And [regardless of how my culture defines adulthood] I'm growing up.