Careful What You Wish For: My Reflections on Growing Up

By Trinity T.

Every kid wants to grow old. They dream of the day they can be adults, live alone without anyone to tell them what to do. I’ve come to a point where I’m not so sure about this growing old thing though.

I turned 17 last month. And boy is it scary!!

I don’t know if this is what adults feel like when they get their first grey hair. I’m thinking this is even worse. I didn’t know it’d be this intimidating knowing I have only one year left of my childhood. Actually, it’s just 11 months left now. Saying that sends a cold chill down my spine. During some of my finer moments, it seems ridiculous and irrational. But most times, when I’m alone with my thoughts, it’s as clear as day that I’m not ready for adulthood. Heck, I don’t think I was even made for adulthood!

When I break it down, it’s because of the pressure from society to have it all together. There’s so many young people all over social media showing off their impressive achievements, wonderful relationships, and perfect lives. Seeing all that makes me feel very inadequate. I mean, what have I to show? I’m just a socially awkward homeschooled kid who pretends to be a writer. What does such a person have to offer the world? I’m not even fully aware of the world half of the time. Seriously, I’m either creating my own imaginary world if not exploring someone else’s through their books. And I’m expected to not die while being responsible for myself. Now I’ll just say that I’m blessed with an amazing family and I know that someone’s always got my back. But there’s a pride thing going on where I want to be responsible for my life once I’m legally a grown up.

Sometimes, when I’m trying to motivate myself, I look at that as a good thing. It’s good to want to be self-sufficient. But when that turns into an obsession, it becomes unhealthy and it damages your soul. It’s pride and we all know what pride precedes.

So, should I just give up? That’s the question I’ve been asking. And I sometimes wish giving up were an option. But I’m learning a new approach to life. The future scares me. Why though? Because the world has taught me and so many other young people that the future is in our hands. And we all know honestly that that’s a big burden. We know deep down we’re not capable of carrying this world on our shoulders no matter what our insta feeds say.

That leaves us a few options. Either keep on keeping up appearances. Or be honest with ourselves and with the world. I choose the latter. If I’m being honest, I don’t have it all together; I doubt I’ll ever have it all together. And the good news is, I don’t have to have it all together. I can be broken and know that someone will be strong for me. When I talk about self-improvement, most people think about mindfulness, believing in the infinite power of the mind and body connected. I read this quote in my psychology textbook, “You already are what you seek.” I may be interested in science and facts, but I’m just not buying that nonsense. If I already were what I seek, I’d not have to study hard for good grades, I’d already be writing bestsellers, and maybe, just maybe, I’d even get along perfectly with my siblings. Since that isn’t the case, I’mma choose to believe “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” And therefore, I need a Savior. Someone to be strong when I fall apart. Someone to hold my future and make sure that I end up where I’m supposed to be even when I take a few wrong turns (Okay, maybe more than just a few).

If we could all come to terms with that, life would be simpler. People’s social media wouldn’t be filled with perfect looking shots of their daily workout and how far they’ve come on their New Year’s Resolution. Instead, we’d all be sharing our struggles and in turn helping each other become better people. I know it’s not easy. I haven’t come to that point of vulnerability either and I’m wrestling my demons privately. But I’m changing. I’m accepting my brokenness and thus accepting that I need to be made whole. It’s a long journey and on most days, it doesn’t feel like I’m going anywhere. But you have to “trust the process.” I don’t know yet where I’ll end up, I’m definitely trying to enjoy where I’m at now and look to the future with not just hope, but confidence that everything will work out fine.

So, my prayer for you is that you learn to let go of all expectations (your own and those of others) and embrace who you are. Don’t get caught up in your mind thinking it’s all on you to be “somebody.” Everybody has their own personal journey and as long as you’re moving forward on your journey, that’s all that matters.

Trinity, 17, has been homeschooling for almost four years. She lives in Uganda and is passionate about God, family, music, and writing. She hopes to use her writing to serve God and help other people.

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