When I grow up, I will be glamourous.
I’ll write for the New Yorker, and my essays will be met with astounding success and infinite praise. (cue “How does she do it?”)
I’ll eat out for every meal, egg white scrambles with a bowl of fruit for breakfast and filet mignon for dinner, with a glass of merlot.
I won’t just wear red lipstick, I’ll look effortless in red lipstick.
I’ll wear high-heels and still remain smiling, because my grown-up superpowers now include wearing Jimmy Choo’s and feeling no pain.
I’ll fly off to Bali, with a tan, muscular, 30-something man, who also happens to be very sweet, and also very handsome, also very employed, and also, very much Javier Bardem in Eat, Pray, Love.
But above all these things, even above my collection of Eileen Fisher silk palazzo pants, I will know what I’m doing.
Let me say that again: I WILL KNOW WHAT I’M DOING.
I turned 25 years old this past December.
Isn’t time funny? There were these years that passed by slowly, punctuated by ill-fitting jeans and ill-fitting friends, and then suddenly, those years began to accelerate. I now find myself awed by the speed of everything. It makes me think of a scene from my favorite movie of all time, Pride & Prejudice (2005, because it’s important to clarify). It happens just after she reads a letter penned by Mr. Darcy, explaining all the events in which she had questioned his character. And although I love this scene for the music and the actions, I often catch myself thinking of the way it’s shot. The sun is up and then the sun goes down, Elizabeth (played by Kiera Knightley) standing in the same spot in the darkness as she did in the light. That’s how I tend to think of time. And maybe that’s what scares me the most about time: it’s fleeting.
Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m still “young” (whatever does that word mean, anyway?), but as my 25th birthday came and went, I was struck by this feeling. I think as millennials, we tend to push our mortality, the passing of time, aside. Unlike avocado toast, it’s not very photogenic. And we fall in love with the idea of success, although we don’t know exactly what that means.
Does it mean living debt-free?
Does it mean having a beautiful apartment, full of the happiest, greenest philodendrons and monsteras Pinterest has ever seen?
Or does it mean achieving the highest level in whatever field we’re in?
I’m at the age I used to believe was the age of someone who has, indeed, grown-up. That really freaks me out sometimes. (Okay, I lied, all the time.) And although I’m nothing like who I thought I would be at 25, I’m learning that the version I am here, and now, might actually be better than that glamorous Lily van der Woodsen-type that I thought I may be. Because I’m slowly starting to realize that who I want to be when I grow up is much different than I ever imagined. Here’s where I stand on it currently:
When I grow up, I will be generous.
When I grow up, I will show kindness to not only my friends and family, but to everyone, because everyone is going through something.
When I grow up, I will show up for my friends, sometimes with coffee, sometimes with pizza, sometimes with just a hug.
When I grow up, I will help when someone’s in need, knowing I’ll get nothing in return.
And when I grow up, I will live in a way that reflects the heart of Jesus, not just my own.
What I mean to say is this: we’re all we’ve got. God put us on this Earth not just to survive, but to love. To love each other deeply. To love each other vulnerably.
Let’s love each other just a little bit more, just a little bit harder each day.