I haven’t been to a graduation since my own college graduation many moons ago. Watching 482 students earn their High School diplomas was both inspiring and impressive. So what does it mean to be grown?
1. Being able to take care of yourself. This means being able to pay rent or mortgage. Being able to purchase and/or prepare food. It means being able to support yourself financially and not having to depend on someone else.
2. Being able to project yourself into the future. Grown people have goals and ambitions. Where will you be in five years? Where will you be in ten years? This does not mean simply “Y.O.L.O.” or “Carpe Diem.” To thrive in this world you’ve got to have a plan, otherwise you will become a part of someone else’s plan.
3. Being able to hold a good conversation. Life experience gives you the stories to tell. At some point you realize that other people matter in the world just as much as you do.
4. Being responsible and accountable for your actions. Realizing that all actions have consequences and results. Children whine and blame others. Adults try to understand their role in specific conflicts or incidents and they take ownership of those actions and words.
5. Being able to admit fault and apologize. Adults realize that they are not always right nor are they perfect.
A menstrual cycle does not make you a woman. A baby does not make you a woman (although in many cases it does help many young women mature faster), a number (age) does not make you a woman.