Every year right before my birthday I start to get a little anxious. I get excited to be a little older, but I get nervous not knowing if I'm ready...
For my 13th I was excited to finally be a teen, but I was so nervous of what others might expect out of me because of it.
For my 15th I had a little breakdown when I realized I was halfway to 30.
And my 16th... I had looked forward to being 16 as long as I can remember, I was going to be able to drive, date, stay out later, and earn my own money... Well according to my parents rules I needed a 3.0 gpa to get my license so I didn't get it till I was 17. Suddenly 16 wasn't enough, and I was counting down the days till I was 18 so I wouldn't have to listen to my "stupid" parents and I could do whatever I wanted. I did everything in my power to look, act, and in my eyes feel older. I soon realized it was easier than I had thought. I started lying to my parents so I could do what I want, the things I that I thought would make me cooler and more mature. And by pushing myself to grow up so quickly, I literally stunted my emotional growth.
I've realized that for the past few years I've had the emotional maturity of a 14 or 15 year old. I was a spoiled little girl, who thought she deserved anything that would make her happy, all while looking to the wrong things for happiness. There was this illusion, this persona of a "mature woman", that I would put on, and the more people bought it the more I bought it. But there was times that who I truly was would shine through...
If I got in a fight I had to be right to be right no matter what, I would never admit to being wrong under any circumstances.
When I got stressed I would just cry, I wouldn't look for a solution so in turn I couldn't find one and I would start tearing myself down.
I would say I didn't care what other people think of me, but so much of what I did was a direct result of me trying to appear cooler, more beautiful, sexier, etc in the eyes of people who don't matter.
I let myself keep being afraid of everything, because I had my whole life... but I'm sorry there is something wrong with a 18 year old who has all the same fears and more from when she was 8.
I didn't know how to love, or really how to be loved either.
Then things started happening shortly before my 19th birthday, that forced me to face my demons. But still I avoided them the best I could up until the end of October '08. I started realizing things that were too painful to deal with so I tried my usual method of suppressing it. But I felt like everything inside of me was exploding... so I slowly began to really deal with everything. By January I was already feeling better, so I kept going... There were a few road-blocks at times, but I was determined to keep going.
This past June I flew to Sierra Vista, AZ to be a nanny for a 6 weeks. I was so nervous to go, I was being ripped from every comfort zone I had ever known, away from my family, my friends, my church, Blue... everything I went to for support. But the one thing I didn't leave behind, was Jesus Christ. He came with me, just like He had been with me since the beginnning of me started to heal, and grow up... and that all the difference. There is no way I could've done without Him. Those 6 weeks were very hard for me, but it was one of the best things that has happened to me. I grew from what I feel like was a little girl trapped inside a grown-up's body, into a real woman. I realized all I needed was to stop getting caught up in my daily life, worrying about each day, and being stressed and scared, and I just needed to let God in. Let Him work in my life, and in my heart, when I did that everything else just fell into place. I suddenly felt like I had a future, and I knew what I wanted... everything became so clear is such a short amount of time. I can finally see that I was just a little girl trying to act grown up, without actually growing up because it was too painful.
Now at 20, I don't feel different than I did four days when I still 19, but I know I am so different than I was one year ago when I turned 19. For the first time I faced a birthday with nothing but joy and confidence. I guess that's why I didn't plan a party, I didn't need cake, presents, singing, and balloons to make me feel like it was okay, it just was... I finally feel content with my age... I don't feel this need to be older, who I am physically and emotionally actually lines up. Everything is place, and it just keep getting better. Everytime I struggle, I come out stronger, ("I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13). I'm at the beginnning of something wonderful and I'm so excited to see where I go from here.