Growing up

This morning, I was looking after the sweetest three year old twin girls you’ll ever meet! I love kids so much, especially what things they say. Today we talked a lot about growing up. It started with a comment about grown-ups – and how some grown-ups were really fun. I had a delayed reaction to the fact they were talking about me. I replied, “what, do you think I’m a grown up?” – to which I got some cute giggles and a “yesssss.”

If you are connected with me on Facebook you will remember a picture I posted a wee while ago, with a similar scenario. Sebbie, one of the boys I was nannying at the time told me I was “officially” a grown-up when I graduated and got engaged. Once again, this took me by surprise… I suppose I wouldn’t have classified myself as a grown-up.

Then it got me thinking- it seems that our whole first couple of decades of our lives we want to be “grown-up.” I remember thinking I was grown up when I was potty-trained, and then when I went to “big school” by myself. I felt like a big kid when I was allowed to walk to school by myself, and then when I went to my first sleepover. I find it so funny, that under the age of about 10, we say “no I’m not 5, I’m 5 and a half!” (even if we were technically 5 and 2 months)

It’s as if we long for milestones to make us a “grown-up.” Whether this be being “legal” at 16, or “officially an adult” at 18  (or is that 21?) When we leave home and go flatting for the first time, when we begin or end our university degree, or start our first job.

When do we become a grown-up anyway?!

In the eyes of a three-year old I probably seem like a responsible grown-up, but to many adults I am a naive and immature young’n. I think as well, there are always different sides to us which we choose not to show. For example, most of the time I am an adventure-loving, laid back and happy individual. But my carefree attitude can make people think that I do not think through decisions very well. You see, I hate making decisions, period.

But when I do make a decision, I do think (and over-think) it through quite thoroughly… so I’m not as disorganised as I may appear to be.

Before shifting over to England, I researched for months and months about my different options, about getting back into the health care system, and about career opportunities. I learned about my kiwi- friends troubles with moving, and asked advice from a lot of people. So-much-so that I don’t know why the “red-tape” saga came as a surprise to me!

Cutting through the red-tape though, moving hasn’t been all bad- in fact we literally have been handed everything on a plate. Again, I thank my amazing family, for supporting me, scooping me off my feet, and keeping my face toward the sun (the sun is not literal however, as many of you know it is freezing here).

It’s less than a month since Elliot arrived; he has found a permanent job, and today we signed for a house (keep your fingers crossed for us that it all goes through). We have found a lovely church community to join, and have had the privilege of hosting friends from New Zealand (with many more to come this year). So for those of you who don’t believe in miracles… here’s more proof that they exist. Thank you too, to my amazing friends who have been praying for us through this time.

Tomorrow is my sisters birthday. Some people tell me that with grief, time makes everything better – but I feel that’s not always the case. Kelsey didn’t have the chance to “grow-up” in any sense, as she passed away as a baby. I often get asked how I feel so close to her when I barely “knew” her – but that’s something only people affected by losing a baby will understand and I certainly do not wish that upon anyone. I grieve for the fact that Kelsey never got to live her life, but am peaceful that God took her and protected her – trusting that His plans are always better than our own. It makes me feel old that Kels would nearly have been an “adult” now… but I still don’t feel grown-up.

Anyway, I will stop there before I get too sad and deep. Another note on growing up came about while we were watching Peppa Pig (and this is why I LOVE nannying; give me barbies, puzzles and TV shows any day!). Peppa was asked, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Again, this got me thinking.

I’m sure at 3, I probably just wanted to be a grown-up. And then at primary school I wanted to be a primary school teacher. This again, changed when I was in year 11, when I decided I wanted to become a doctor. And then at University when I got sick, I realised I actually wanted to be a nurse (this was after being traumatized by non-empathetic nurses, yet having the best-ever cardiothoracic nurse specialist look after me at once). My plans were changed yet again, as I was told I was “too sick” to become a nurse. So I continued my studies in non-clinical health sciences, and amazingly finally graduated. However, it left me still not knowing what to do.

I toyed with the idea of becoming a speech and language therapist, which I may still do one day. Or furthering in research, and maybe doing a PhD… but then realising I need to be fully well to do both of these things. And now, loving being with children and encouraging them with studies, I’m thinking about becoming a teacher again – especially being able to travel and be a missionary whilst doing this.

I still ultimately want to work with Marfan patients, and I hope that I can get funding to do research for this. But again, I need to be well so I do not need time off for this. Ah… a hundred options and one over thinker makes for an extremely long decision making process!

But that’s ok. I may be a “grown-up” in some eyes, but I am learning that I am still young. I have time to make these decisions, and extremely supportive family and friends to help me. I have time to look after myself and get better. And most of all I have time to travel, have fun, and enjoy life on the way.

I am one extremely lucky “grown-up,” and in some ways I’ve had it a lot easier than most. Although I was forced into seeing the harsh realities of the world sooner than I’d hoped, I have been blessed beyond belief at every step of the way. And this most recent leg of the journey is a testament to that – good jobs for both my fiance and I, a new house by ourselves where we can have people to stay, and being close to our loving family whilst being away from so many people we love and miss.

So there you have it. My musings on growing up and not feeling like a grown-up. I think I will always be a big kid at heart, but I’m ok with that too.

Until next time,

Keira xo

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