When I grow up, I want to be a dancer. I remember saying these words timidly in the microphone on stage of my third grade performance in a small gymnasium at my Greek Orthodox school. I wore a pink ballet skirt, pink tights, a black unitard and pink ballet flats. My ridiculously long Rapunzel style braid wound tight with about 87 bobby pins in a bun, obviously. And hot pink blush.
And then I fluttered over to stage left. Future declared.
Who knew in years to follow, I would change my answer numerous time, like this:
I want to be a teacher. I want to be an aerobics teacher, just like my Mom in her leg warmers, velcro Reeboks and unitard thong. I want to be a nutritionist. I want to be a doctor. I love helping people and how comfy are scrubs? I want to work in Advertising at NIKE. I want to be a full time feminist. Gender Studies Major, check. I want to be a Public Relations shark. I want to be a Brand Director. I want to be a Yoga Teacher. I want to be a Spin Teacher. I want to be a Goal Coach. I want to be a Dancer again. Signed up for hip hop, I have no pop and lock. None. I want to be a Consultant. I want to be a Yoga Retreat company owner. I want to be a Mother. ....
The list goes on and on. And somewhere in that list, being a grown up became wearing a label, being emotionally stable and making (a lot of) money. Period. Like a task on a to do list that we must complete in this life game.
But, what if being a grown up meant opening your eyes now, choosing to grow in every experience today and basking in the process of the growing-up glow?
What if it was no longer a destination but a way of being? No longer a forced wisdom but a recognition of time?
What if we removed the pressure and gave ourselves permission to know that growing up happens every single day until the day we die?
Perhaps we start a list of when we have grown up: that tough conversation with a co-worker last week, that time you traveled to Europe solo and learned how to ask for help, the wisdom your Grandpa shared and how you actually looked up from your Gameboy, errr iPhone, and listened, the decision you made last year with your partner to move in together, admitting you are wrong (any time this happens, I feel like a grown up), the moment you experience loss, the responsibility of owning a dog (and then another dog, oh my), that time you ask for a raise and get what you deserve, or that time you asked that guy on a date and you got rejected (and really replayed that whole "other fish in the sea" commentary)...
See, now that list can truly goes on and on.
Always, always growing.
Now, It is our choice if we are growing up or down. Choose your action, learnings and expereinces wisely.