Tuesday, May 27, 2014


One of the most fascinating things about being an aunt is watching my nieces and nephew grow. I have held them as infants, giggled as they maneuvered their first steps, winced as they got cuts and scrapes from playing outdoors, and laughed with them as they developed more thoughtful senses of humor. At times I miss the days before they were too big and independent for me to scoop them up in my arms, but it brings me joy to witness their growth.

Every single thing that lives is destined for growth. What doesn't grow individually dies or collectively becomes extinct. Physical growth is easier for people to accept because they expect it. When a baby is born, the expectation is for her to develop into a toddler, then a child, then a teenager, and finally, an adult. The expectation is for her to grow taller, stronger, and more independent. What is the expectation, though, after? What happens to the expectation of growth in adults?

The measure of an adult is attached to responsibility. On the surface, growth is evidenced by building a family and a career with pay raises and title changes. Adulthood comes with countless lessons, but because we are no longer measuring height changes or advancing in school each year, after we start a family and a career, we unfortunately expect stagnation.

Being an adult is more than building externally. Structures cannot stand if all of the attention is placed on their exterior. The foundation must be solid. The interior must be strong enough to support the weight of the structure itself, but also the impact of age and the stress of external forces. For that reason, as adults, our most important area of growth is internal.

Maybe the conversations and activities that once entertained or sustained you are becoming mundane. Maybe you realized that those who support you only provide support on conditions. Maybe where you are professionally does not provide the same satisfaction or excitement that it did initially. Maybe your life plan, including the people in it, needs an adjustment or an overhaul. Your first responsibility, as an adult, is to pay attention. Listen to those internal bells and alarms that indicate a need for change. Next, be strong enough, responsible enough, and adult enough to accept and grow into who you are becoming from within.

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