Being an adult doesn't mean locking in a 9-5 job and procreating. Being an adult doesn't mean having everything figured out. Being an adult isn't some threshold you pass through at a fully mature and developed stage of life.
We only have one life to live. And though waiting may take up a great deal of it, we hope and pray the waiting will reap its benefits. We'll just have to throw the dice and pray for the best. We'll never know otherwise.
Becoming more self-aware in the process of aging is the hard earned prize of our adult lives. It's what gives and will give us the authority to speak with conviction to younger generations. It doesn't make us children.
I thought peer pressure was done when I left high school. It's a bit easier not to give in to it now, but it's still there, rearing its ugly head in the form of Mommy Wars and keeping up with the Joneses.
I am not suggesting that you make a u-turn and start being your teen's friend. I'm suggesting instead that you remember to teach your child about the importance of work, the importance of love and the importance of play.
As cliché as this probably sounds, college isn't just some step in your journey. It is its own adventure, filled with endless opportunities and lessons. And, where you are is a big part of that journey.
The only reason I actually studied and did my work in high school, I thought, was to get into a good college and to keep my parents out of my hair. But now that I am at good college, why am I still working hard?
It is the age when you accept that going through your 20s with too steely a resolve and determined a course would have made you much less interesting than you are today. It is where, unconsidered change behind you, you can see more clearly the grander choices ahead.
Turning the pages of an old and adored book allows me a wistful glimpse of my less-than-a-decade old mind. As I crack the dusty spine and reread familiar sentences, I recall what enchanted me as a child.