Growing Pains | Teen Ink

Growing Pains

October 14, 2021
By Alexisfayee BRONZE, San Antonio, Texas
Alexisfayee BRONZE, San Antonio, Texas
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

        Growing up. Is it something any of us are truly ready for? The many trials and tribulations that come with adulthood.The opinions, major changes and decisions to be made. I can definitely say it is hitting me now that I am almost into the real world. A small step closer to starting life and it is surreal. Although it’s scary, it cannot be that bad. Right?

        Maturing and becoming an adult are two of the many things younger people look forward to. As a kid I dreamt of the idea that once I was older and more capable, I could do anything I wanted. Go to parties, drive, stay up with the choice of my own bedtime. Yet for some reason, those were my only thoughts. The good things. Not having to learn about pesky taxes, paying exorbitant amounts on bills, getting out of my comfort zone and meeting new people. As I write this, I am a 17 year old introverted high school student who is still trying to figure out where her place in the world may be. I have changed my plans so often that my head has downright almost spun off of my shoulders. Yet one thing has been a constant motivator, the idea of making my own decisions without anyone’s opinion determining who I am. I distinctly remember at a family event when I was asked what I wanted to be when I graduate. At that question my hands began to sweat so much that it felt as if a small lake formed in the pit of my palm. My voice came out, a small stutter as I said “Truthfully I'm not sure”. I recall their faces dropping, the laughs going silent as if they were pre recorded and stopped on cue. Each head turned to me with looks of wonder and what seemed like disappointment. I had always been the one to have a plan in my family. Whether it be for a surprise birthday or a set time frame to get to the beach. I was always prepared and on schedule. But once they heard that I didn't have a set plan for my life, it seemed as if they were shocked. I was then bombarded with questions like “You're 16, why don't you have a plan” or given ideas on what careers they felt were correct for me such as a lawyer or doctor. I finally said “I think I'd like to be a zoologist” and one after the other they laughed. “Zoology doesn't pay well Lex” they said. Feeling defeated, I went to my room to think about what they said. I knew what I always wanted to be but as I got older I began to let others' opinions on my career choices and capabilities deter my mind from my desires. As I sat there deep in thought, I had an epiphany. I had decided that no matter what, I wouldn't let anyone else make my life choices for me. That was my first stepping stone to becoming who I will eventually be in the future. 

        After that night things began to change tremendously. I took control of my life and put an end to my people pleasing ways. Instead I gave myself room to flourish. I got my heart broken much to my mothers distaste, had a few falling outs with friends and even rekindled with a couple of them. I began working at my first job and met amazing people from many walks of life with their own experiences to share. And they did. From them alone I learned so much from the outside world. For example how to pick locks, make a hammock with saran wrap or even start a fire with glasses. Given those examples were not all that exciting I still learned things that I did not know before. And it was all because I began to live free, without the shackles of others' expectations pulling me further down. My demeanor changed and I was overall happier. My mom noticed this immediately and expressed how ecstatic she was to see her oldest happy and thriving. She told me that she was proud of me for all i've accomplished and somehow knew I'd do great at whatever I put my bright mind to. From those words alone my heart began to swell like a balloon and I then looked forward to life even more. To grow up for reasons other than just being able to do what I want. For there is so much more to this life than that.

     It has taken a long time for me to get to who I am. I have received a lot of heartache and even disappointment. Trial and error one might say, but without it, I would have been in the same predicament I was in at that dining room table. I wouldn't have seen that the beauty of getting older isn't just the parties or being able to drive. It is making hundreds of mistakes, sometimes repeating them more than once and eventually learning from them. It is meeting new individuals and hearing their stories. It is seeing that things do not last forever after realizing your childhood is almost over. Knowing one day you must leave the comforting arms of mom in pursuit of college. It is about learning scary things like taxes and being okay with big changes. It is about having all the bad yet taking it anyways because at the end of every day there is always good. With the little peek of the great big world I've seen, I now cannot wait to learn more and see what this life has to offer for me.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Oct. 25 at 10:27 am
thaliawilder05, Northumberland, Pennsylvania
0 articles 1 photo 2 comments
I want to thank you for posting your article. It's an eye-opener to know that I am not alone when it comes to choosing what I want to become when I am older, thank you.