Lifespan Psychology was probably my favorite class that I took at Meredith (shh… don’t tell my Spanish professors). It was absolutely fascinating. In my education classes we obviously spent a lot of time talking about cognitive development of children and adolescents, since that is the main demographic that teachers work with, but lifespan put it all into perspective as the big picture. From birth to death, how your brain and associated processes work: so cool to me. It also helped that my super awesome cool teacher ended the course by playing, “Circle of Life” from the Lion King.
Cool brain things + Disney movie songs = quickest way to make your class my favorite.
We spent a section of the course talking about Emerging Adulthood. The section of one’s life from approximately 18-25 where you are transitioning from adolescence to true adulthood. I totally believe in this. I don’t always think though that this was the case in our society, though. I think that it used to be that graduates from high school were expected to assume roles as adults (marriage, military, work, etc) whereas with the development and push for higher education today really gives us twenty-somethings some wiggle room now in the 2000’s (See fun articles from the New York Times here). We get at least a 4 year pass (or 5 or 6 if you’re on the super senior plan) at being a ‘college kid’ and then some of us go on to graduate school where it continues. We live lease-to-lease, used to packing up our lives in Rubbermaid containers every 12-18 months. We intern, work for free to get ‘experience’, hang out at coffee shops and bars and it is awesome. Now with the economy and job market in it’s current state, more than ever we are moving back in with family (and now eligible for health insurance until 26!) and prolonging the inevitable adulthood for longer than ever. Not gonna lie, being a twentysomething is a pretty sweet deal.
Having a dog I think was the first thing that started closing this phase for me. It was someone I was responsible for financially and physically. Luna is seriously so high maintenance that I went from spending Saturdays sleeping all day and watching a season of Law and Order, to getting up with the sun to go for walks and spending time at the park. Coming home from work, where I used to eat cereal and watch NCIS until bedtime, was now spent walking 3 miles or spending hours at the park. Some other adult-like things have followed the puppy, like getting married and buying a house, but despite these things, I can’t help but feel myself being pulled to a very (what I often refer to as ‘old’) adulty place of early bedtimes, green leafy vegetables and a schedule of household chores that I actually enjoy doing (and all my former roommates just said, ‘what? Kellie? chores?’).
Anywho, this whole thing to say, my Summer Plan is really about growing up. Taking responsibility for my health, my heart and my mind. When I first started journaling during this process, I acknowledged how hard it was going to be for me to develop these good habits that I want to turn into a healthy well-rounded life. My heart just constantly keeps going back to 1 Corinthians 13:11 “When I was a child, I spoke and thought, and reasoned like a child. But when I grew up I put away childish things."
This so defines me right now. Spiritually. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally.
Eating healthy, exercising, sleeping regularly, spending time around positive people, learning to be daily grateful, choosing happiness over anything else are not just temporary fixes for a weight-loss goal (although there is one…. Holy Living Too Close to Bojangles, Batman!), or training for a 5K (still not sure I’ll ever actually be able to run one)… these habits are an investment.
Anywho, don’t get too caught up on the childish things (things I’m focusing on are selfishness & the lazies) because I will never be too old to incorporate a Disney song into daily life, wear a mustache just because or plan middle of the week trips to another city 3 hours away to see your favorite band on a school night. I also really enjoy going to coffee shops and bars with friends (sitting around drinking a hot beverage is probably one of my favorite pastimes) although I am thrilled to not be working for free, to not have to move in 12-18 months and to have my own health insurance. My husband and dog (soon to be dogs) are pretty great too. And I like my house. And my friends. And so on and so forth.
Anyone else growing up whether you like it or not?