We tend to think of “coming of age” as a once in a lifetime experience, or at least one season of our lives. Then we’re done. Thank goodness that’s over. Now I can move on to adult things, and put those childish ways behind me.
But what if I don’t, or rather, I can’t. At least not now. And the further I get from my childhood, the harder it is to let it go. By then, I have held on so long it has become a part of me. I hold dearly to these things I “know” about myself, so dearly that I just take them for granted. I always cry at …. I never know what to say when… I’ll lose so why bother doing … It’s his fault that… No one listens when… These are part of “who I am.” Even the things I don’t much like about myself I have learned to live with, so I figure I’m stuck with them. But what if I’m wrong?
What if the opportunity to lay down the things I hold dearly happens annually? or monthly? perhaps weekly? OMG, daily? Yes, I may never see them again. That is, unless they are good for me: good for my direction, my progress, my soul. Then I believe I will see them again. They’ll probably sneak back in under the guise of a project, a phone call, a surprise email or a tug to get back to writing that blog you were so fond of. But the rest of those things need not rear their ugly heads; they were meant for drop-kicking.
New every morning are my opportunities to see myself in a new light, with capability to address the day in a new way. Coming of age may happen in a moment for a few souls, or for the boy Jesus who was “about his Father’s business” when he was left behind by his parents, but for me it’s a day by day diligence. You don’t need to be who you were yesterday, but to be better you need to release your grip on the stuff in your fist. Yes, YOUR fist.
That oughta lighten things considerably around here. Who knows, maybe this stepping may turn to skipping and leaping and bounding. Good grief, I may get to hurdle a whole bunch of stinking stuff. Who knew I was the one holding the key to tossing it aside?