As a young child, I played games with my friends where we pretended to be teenagers. The other girls were excited about driving, and boys, and feeling grownup. I played along but I didn't really understand it. I liked being a kid and was not looking forward to my age written in double digits. I wanted books and peanut butter jelly sandwiches and bike rides. I did not want to pretend to be older.
When my husband Ben and I were dating, we went for a walk in the woods together and while climbing around on a fallen tree Ben looked at me and said "Joy, let's never grow up." I agreed with him in a heartbeat thinking about how miserable it would be to be a grumpy grownup who did not have time to play in the outside.
That was about five years ago.
Today I feel a lot more grown up than I did on that day with Ben in the woods. I have bills to pay, I give math tests, I think about insurance. But to my surprise, it has not been a miserable experience. I'm getting better at things that were once to be hard for me. I'm more relaxed. I'm more confident. I have the independence to do what I want and my feelings of gratitude have expanded. I am currently twenty-five years old, which I know is still very young, but I can't help but feel thankful for the lessons life has taught me so far and the experiences guiding me into adulthood.
Cardigan: I made it out of two cardigans
Boots: Steve Madden
Headband: Old bandana