I’ve been 21 for a little over 3 weeks now. I’ve applied to graduate college in December (and was approved), a semester early. I’m technically a “senior” if you look at it by credit hours. And holy crap, time flies.
Scanning some of my older entries on here, I look at myself just a year ago and think: so much has changed. It’s insane, because you think time flies by and everyone changes but you don’t. This isn’t true, of course. We all change. We grow and change, even if we don’t realize it.
But lately, I’ve been doing a whole lot of self-reflecting. I’ve been noticing things in me that are so different from last year.
A thing I noted last year was that it’s hard for me to stick with an opinion and not waver from it. Mind you if I’m wrong, I’ll change it. i’ll do it grudgingly, embarrassingly and reluctantly, but I’ll change. I’ll accept that I was wrong, that there’s a right opinion that isn’t mine. It’s what I consider my own personal growth. And it isn’t limited to that–I’ve also learned to peacefully coexist with others of different opinions. It isn’t easy, and it doesn’t always work out, but I’m done trying to make people change their minds, or to be stubborn and think my way is only way to go. No. People have different opinions, different reasons for these different opinions, etc.
This wasn’t how it always was, of course. I used to change myself for people. Say mean things about someone else to please a friend in middle school (goodness, she was so toxic, I shudder every time I see her on facebook), do something idiotic and embarrassing to please another in high school, pretend that I was in LOVE with twilight in high school (I’m embarrassed, okay? I’d read it, yes, and didn’t have an opinion on it, but then everyone was gushing about it and i bandwaggoned. And then I realized how ridiculous it all was and we cannot ever talk about it again, okay?). Look at someone’s favorite bands and listen to their music so I could have similar taste. It’s all so embarrassing now that I think about it.
But I am so past that. I’m not that self-conscious, eager to please kid anymore. I refuse to agree with someone just to keep the peace. I cannot lie. I am an awful, awful, liar. I cannot exaggerate excitement.
I think I’ve finally started to develop a personal identity. I have strong opinions, and I refuse to waver from them. Whether it’s politics, economics, or something as simple as a TV show, I have ideas about what is right and what is wrong, what I like and what I don’t like, and I will not change that for anyone.
Others, though, do not agree. I suggest: “let’s agree to disagree.”
They respond positively, and then continue to argue their point. Adults, kids, it does not matter. My parents taught me to respect others, of course, especially elders, but when one treats you like a kid, is condescending, and makes it clear that being half their age does not make you or your opinion right, well…
I might only be 21, but I am not a kid. I know what I want, I know what I believe, and any amount of nastiness will not change that.
I’ve also come to realize that everyone i meet is at a different point of the journey of their lives, and I should not compare myself to them.
This was one of the realizations I voiced to a friend the other day. A staff member at school, who I’m friends with, asked me about school, and how I am. Our one hour long discussion was relaxing, fun, hilarious. At one point, she paused, laughing, and said she missed me, and was upset I’m leaving. And then she told me–“you are so mature, I wish I was this mature at your age. I am so proud of you.”
You know, when your family tells you that, you just laugh and shrug, because hey, they’re your family. But when someone that is a friend, an adult who has their life together, tells you that they are proud of you, that you are mature, it’s different.
I felt proud in that moment. It was a good feeling. Because I still feel like a kid sometimes, like a rookie who doesn’t know what she’s doing, making mistakes, lacking self-confidence. But to know that all this thinking and self-reflecting and all of that has led to this, that someone who doesn’t know me all that well can have a conversation with me and see in me what I don’t see in myself–well, it’s a good feeling, is all.
I’ve grown and changed in the past year, and I’m proud of it.
That is all.