Growing Expectations, or Killing Them.

I used to think growing up meant a lot of things.

Independence. Glamor. Older. Wiser. Full of Direction.

Growing up means you know how to make a pot of coffee (and drink it).

Growing up means you can eat pizza and donuts all you want and have no curfew.

Growing up means you know what you like and don’t like – for the most part. (I still can’t decide how I feel about water chestnuts).

Growing up means you have it all together.

Growing up means a lot of things, right?

I used to think a lot like Jenna Rink in 13 Going on 30. Once you make it passed the awkward teen years and the mean schoolgirls, you hit 30 with style, or as Jenna says, “30, flirty and thriving.” And only after the magical fairy dust settles, transforming Jenna into the so-called fabulous 30 year old, does she realize it might not be all she’s dreamed it could be.

I’m not 30. (whew, thank heavens I am NOT 30 yet.) Nope, not 30. I’m a few weeks shy of 23 and being a grown up hasn’t quite matched up to what I had dreamed.

I never sat around picturing my 20s, or held tightly onto a fashion magazine hoping I would magically become like the pictures, as Jenna did. But I did have expectations.

I had ideas of what my 20s would look like, of what me as a “grown up” would look like. As I’ve gotten older, I haven’t figured more of life out. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned it’s not really about figuring it all out. It’s not about supposedly knowing what an adult looks like. It’s not even about living up to who I thought I would be when I was a young and naive preteen.

To me, growing older has been more about me letting go of what I thought this season of my life would look like. I don’t want magical fairy dust or Jenna’s wishful dreams of adulthood. I think I’d like to proudly become older knowing I’m choosing to do it my way rather than the way others are telling me.

I’ve had many suggestions on how to change my perspective to make more money or get a husband or find a real job. I’ve had plenty of those ideas, but I’ve only had maybe one or two comforting and unknowingly very welcoming “It’s okay’s.”

I’m here to tell those who are like me and in the in-between, those who are unsure and undecided, those who have only felt discouragement lately:

It’s okay.

It’s okay to be where you are. It’s okay to not know. It’s okay to leave behind your expectations of what growing up looks like. It’s okay to be figuring it out.

It’s all okay.

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