I remember someone telling me that I was immature the year I turned 19. I can remember my disgust and dislike for that person because how dare they tell me I was immature?! I didn't play stupid twelve year old girl's games. I didn't flirt and giggle and do things immature girls did. I was furious with the person for making me feel stupid, and not good enough to be their friend.
Looking back at that girl, she was immature. That person was right, and their view of me encouraged me to get more serious. Yes, I still giggle and fool around, but that keeps me young. What made me wake up was looking at how I handled my relationships and how I handled myself. I realized I didn't like how I threw around my friends like they were nothing, and how I constantly put myself down. I'm not saying I don't have my moments where I put myself down now, but those moments are few and far between.
I think what the person was getting at was I didn't know where I was going in life, and they did. Why would anyone want to hang around a person who had no idea where her place was in the world, and what her purpose was. Their not-so-nicely-put view of me changed me. I started to take myself more seriously. I cleaned myself up. I found myself in the Word more and more. I sought God's direction. I didn't stop looking and seeking and asking.
But then I fell back into the same spot I was in the year I graduated from high school. I got desperate and ran after people who wanted a silly girl in their life. I ran after people who I thought were exactly like me. Directionless, immature, purposeless. They didn't know where they were going, and neither did I. I floundered for almost a year.
I found myself again a year ago. Maybe "found" isn't the right word. But I did lose sight of me for awhile. I lost sight of God. I would never claim to be perfect. In the almost year that I tread water, I made mistakes. I wouldn't say I have regrets about that time anymore, but it might turn out to be a lie. I learned a lot, I took two steps forward and three steps back. I dog paddled and almost drowned in the world and its lies.
I started separating myself from those childish people. I had a moment of clarity and knew I wasn't with the people I needed to be with. I didn't need to be around them. I remembered the words of my friend not that long ago and realized I was sinking back into the girl they knew.
I won't say it hasn't been a two steps forward, three steps back kind of journey. I haven't completely grown up and lost who I was back in 2009. I try to make awkward conversations with people I knew back then. Sometimes when I talk to them, I think "wow, this person has really changed." But later on, I realize it isn't just them, but me too. There have been different life experiences for both of us, and we won't be who we were when we were seniors in high school.
I might not be the same way I was in high school, and for that I'm thankful. But sometimes, I close my eyes and think of when I was in high school. Focused on school and not on silly boys or stupid drama. Focused on getting through the school day and not when I could get a break. Focused on excelling in schoolwork and not excelling at getting dozens of friends.
I am thankful, however, that I know that I've come so far since then. I don't want to be that silly girl, the one who felt like one person's rejection was the end of the world. Yes, that person meant a lot to me then, but I've grown because of their criticism. I've learned not to jump at every person's critique of me. I've learned to accept constructive criticism. They may never know that what they said sparked a change in me. But that's okay. They don't need to know.
I may not know the exact direction in life I'm going, like they did when they were 18, but that's life. Different people, different timing. I never saw myself in customer service when I was 17, but now I can't imagine being anywhere else. I love it. I have a purpose, and that's all I need to know at this point. I have God, and He's the only One who will change my course. I have my close friends, I have my family, I have my boyfriend. And if my purpose and direction changes, God will be directing that change.
We all possess the thunder of pure fury and the calm breeze of tranquility. If it wasn't for tomorrow, how much would we get done today? Whatever your purpose... embrace it completely. Get lost in the clouds every now and then so you never lose sight of God's wonder. ~Paul Vitale