It was only at the graduation of my high school’s senior class yesterday that I realized I’m practically an adult.
Yes, I, Vanessa Poulson, am almost at the age where I can purchase cigarettes, vote, and become enlisted in the military. Im at the place in my life where I’m beginning to make choices that are going to impact every part of my future for the rest of my existence on this planet.
So why is it that with all this growing potential and power I have ahead of me, I still manage to feel so small?
It took me a while to figure it out, standing up and walking out of the arena in the post graduation mass, trying to lose myself in the people around me rather than the swirling thoughts in my own head. It was only that within the crowd I realized that every person within the stadium that could seat 3,000 people had been through, was going through, or were going to go through the same set of decisions that I realized why exactly it was that I felt so small.
When a choice you’re making or process you’re going through has been done a thousand times before you, the significance of what you’re trying to accomplish or become goes down significantly everytime. I was growing up, but was it really any different or unique from how anyone else had within the time of human beings and their existence?
Eighteen may be the age where we earn the title of being an adult, and the beginnings of the choices that are the trademark of adulthood, but it is not where we truly grow up. We grow up in the actions and choices that we make after the stereotypical adult choices have already been made. We grow up in the moments where we believe that we’ve done nothing at all.
A label we make does not make us grown up, instead, it is the action we take after it all has been said and done.
After all, growing up is something we all have to eventually rise to. It’s what we do with that title that really changes things.
Poulson is a contributor for The Millennial Times.