When I Grow Up

I think that we can be any age and still have those, “When I grow up I want to be” thoughts.

Maybe we want to be more outgoing, a bit thinner, perhaps a little more comfortable in social settings or more witty. Maybe prettier, maybe more handsome, maybe less awkward, maybe more comfortable in our odd skin.

I think it’s normal to wish we had more lives to live, not unlike a cat. If it’s not, then I’m more abnormal than I’ve suspected all these years. It’s just that I enjoy my life so much that I think it would be interesting to go down different career paths in subsequent lives. I wouldn’t want to trade my family, though. They’re pretty excellent people.

My grandmother is 91. I imagine even she still has thoughts of the future, thoughts of things she’d like to learn to do, places she’d like to go.

I tell myself that, when I’m older, I’ll one day learn to avoid the magnifying mirror which, similar to Food Network or Cooking Channel, is far too big of a time suck for me. I tell myself that I’ll grow my hair out one of these years. That I’ll be a better saver, a wiser investor. That I’ll learn to be better to myself — kinder, more understanding — that I’ll handle myself the way I’d handle a child who is lost, a little unsure and a lot scared.

It’s now. That time that we picture is now — for no other reason than because tomorrow is never a guarantee; the next minute isn’t a guarantee.

I’m never going to be the grown up that I picture in my head because I seem to be on a continual quest for things that will make me better, smarter, more of this or more of that. Some pursuits, admittedly, are more noble than others. Many are juvenile and flighty and just plain fun. I’m never going to be the grown up that I picture, and that’s more than fine by me. In my opinion, it keeps my mindset young. It keeps me malleable. And it reminds me that I haven’t done it all — nobody has. It reminds me that there’s still so much more to see, do, to seek out.

Tonight I am thankful for never feeling my age, and for my to-do and to-try lists still being as lengthy as they were when I was 18 and moving away from home for the first time. Here’s to exploring the nooks and crannies of life, the back roads and making our own paths.

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