It dawned on me recently, when I had to make a big decision, how I actually hadn’t made any big life decision entirely by myself. I thought ‘so this is what it feels like to really be a grown-up’.
We’re expected to make our first life decision around age 18 when we have to decide which direction our lives should take after school. There aren’t many of us, I’m sure, who are doing now what we had decided on then. What follows is years of making life changing decisions which will have an impact on our lives for many years.
But how many of us actually feel prepared to make such decisions? I’m sure along the way we have relied on our parents to help us. I know I have. Even as I have travelled through adulthood I’d always turned to my wonderful, and irreplaceable, father for his worldly knowledge and wisdom. I’d always bounce ideas around or had the reassuring confirmation that I was doing the right thing. A few years ago, when I had to make a decision without him, was the first time I actually felt grown up.
It’s not all about decision making, there are also those life defining moments, when no longer are you a adult-child, but you are a grown-up adult. I have learnt that these can happen at anytime in our lives, and it is these that also make us grow up.
Being a grown-up is about taking responsibility for yourself. The decisions we make, life events and the lessons allow us to grow as individuals. It shapes who we are, how we view ourselves and how we treat others.
For me, loosing my father was the moment, in lots of ways, I became a grown-up. Now, having to make decisions on my own, I can’t deny that I find it scary, and I’d do anything to have my father by my side navigating me through the waters. I realise life is too short for ‘What Ifs’, sometimes you’ve just got to go with what you think is the right thing at a particular point in time. We are all more resilient than we think, and if ‘What If’ does happen, we’ll find a way around it. Because life has a way of working out.
What does being a grown–up mean for you?