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On Growing Up

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As I exited borders and headed towards my car, I glanced down at the receipt listing the most recent reasons why I was broke. Wait... I thought, 13.99 for The Best of Simon and Garfunkel? Why did I think that was 8.99? Oh right, because it was. No big deal, I went it explained what had happened and the cashier refunded the five dollars and 41 cents (with tax). Turn back to continue home, I overheard the lady explain to one of the cashiers: “You charged that lady…” Something was wrong with that sentence; lady? Was I a lady? “Girl” is the term I’m more familiar with, and although I’m fine with ‘young lady’ I think of that more in the context of old fashioned scoldings or the heroines of Jane Austin novels. Lady. Driving home, I couldn’t seem to get that word out of my head. Did I qualify as a lady at 17? That just seems wrong somehow.

I suppose that’s the thing about growing up; you never really know what’s going on before you realize you’re there. I still can’t quite figure out what it means to ‘grow up’. Is it having a bat mitzvah? Somehow I don’t think grown ups are the one who return to seventh grade on Monday morning. Is it hitting puberty? I highly doubt that too. Is it getting a drivers license? That one is debatable. The ability to get yourself from place to place without begging for rides breeds a certain amount of responsibility, but I still wouldn’t call it growing up. Is it an eighteenth birthday? That’s impossible: I’ll be turning 18 in less than 5 months, and that can’t be enough time to grow up, and I’ll be damned if I’m ready to grow up.

Then again, if it weren’t for the evidence of photographs and old diaries, I’d tell you I haven’t changed since I was seven. When you’re with yourself everyday it hard to see the changes that everyone does since it happens so gradually in your own world. SO where does that leave me now? I’m a teenager, stuck in in-between land, where it feels like I will be forever. Truth be told, I kind of like it here. I’m young enough to act like a kid sometimes and old enough to be taken seriously. It’s not a bad place to be. I get the feeling that it never really ends, though. Maybe you “grow up”, whatever that means, and maybe you get weighted down with terms like “responsibility” and “maturity” and “taxes,” but I can’t imagine stopping all the exploration and novelty of what they call the “growing up process.” I mean, yes I have yet to experience the severance of the word “young” to the term “young adult,” but as they say, old is a state on mind, and I’m not sure I’m ready to be a lady quite yet.





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