Right now I’m in this strange stage of life where everyone around me is grown up but I’m not there yet.
I have two older brothers, Ben and Sam, but I’m really just an only child for most of the year. Recently, when I went out to Ohio to visit Cedarville University, I got to see the oldest of my brothers, Ben. He has his own apartment, his own job, even his own motorcycle (see picture). It’s hard for me to take in the fact that my big brother, the person who used to make me mac and cheese for lunch and watch Phineas and Ferb with me while we ate it, has his own life.
My other brother Sam, the middle child of us three, is an absolute genius in college. He’s looking at going to get a PhD in chemistry and he’s got the whole world at his fingertips. He has his own friend group, his own college apartment, his own life two hours away at university. He’s basically mad scientist but as the protagonist.
I don’t know if oldest siblings can relate, but seeing your siblings grow up before you is one of the weirdest things I’ll ever know. These are the guys who used to crush me in every video game and wrestle with me until we broke something! But now they’re decorating rooms in their apartments and cooking dinners for guests and it’s a lot to take in.
Part of me watches them and is even more excited for my future, wanting to become an adult already so I can go and start my life.
Another part of me if terrified, because what if I can’t do that?
As you can tell, my brothers have given me a lot to live up to, and I worry about having to fill their shoes. How am I going to manage a home, money, car, job, relationships, and all the other grown up stuff that grown ups have to do? I want to go back to Saturday morning cartoons on the couch with Ben and Sam. I don’t want to have to risk failing at adulthood, but I can’t seem to think of a way out of it.
Teenagers are in a pretty bad spot with this. A lot of times we’re treated like kids but expected to act like adults, so we end up with a foot on either side of the fence. Part of us craves childlike freedom, and the other part craves the freedom of adulthood. Instead, we’re left in what feels like a holding cell for a certain number of years, not allowed to escape to what lies on either end.
It’s something that’s been on my mind lately, this conflict between fear of leaving childhood and the desire to become an adult. However, I have to remind myself that I’m in this season for a reason. Highschool is one of the most growth-cultivating environments there is, and God has given me this time to know Him more and make Him known. So instead of focusing on what I wish I could be, I’m choosing to focus on what I can be now.