When I was a little girl I was a daydreamer. I searched the garden for fairies. I wished I could fly. I wanted to travel the roads as a gypsy. My head was filled with fairytales and I believed in the power of imagination.
Just because I am now an adult, it does not mean I've left any of it behind. I am a gypsy ... sort of. I spend my life wandering the roads of this country. I love my vagabond lifestyle. I still daydream. My daydreams have become stories and those stories have become novels. I still believe in fairies.
It would seem that some children are almost born grown up. I was one of these children. By age nine, I would wake in the morning without the need of an alarm clock. Wash up and dress myself. Then I would wake up my parents and get money from my dad. Then I would walk to the corner store and get what my mother needed for breakfast and school lunches. I'd come home and help my younger sister get ready for school and then hurry my father so that he would get us to school on time.
By age eleven I was cleaning, cooking, and looking after my younger sisters. I married at age 18. My husband and I recently celebrated our 25th anniversary.
But just because a person (even at a very young age) is hardworking, mature, and responsible; does this mean they've grown up?Does it mean that someone who likes to have fun, joke around, and sees the world has his/her personal playground has not grown up?
I am not sure if I really have the answer in the philosophical sense of the definition.
However, I felt that I finally grew up on the day that I realized that I am the only person who is responsible for me. I think I was in my early 20s when, one day, it dawned on my that I am not a victim of my childhood, I can choose to be happy or not, I don't have to stick with a job I hate, I can be whatever I choose to be in life. I have choices. I have control. I don't have to be afraid to be myself. I am the only one accountable for my actions and the only one in charge of me. It was a very liberating and empowering feeling.
As I continued to 'find myself' I discovered that as I choose to be happy, I felt more generous and smiled more often. Karma kicked in and good things began to happen. I found a way to get paid doing what I love. Each day is an adventure to live. I laugh. I play. I am not only in touch with my inner child ... I totally embrace her. I may have grown up, but I can still play, laugh, and have fun.
What does all this mean?
Well, the little girl that I was ... who wanted to be a gypsy and writer when she grew up ... became those things. But she didn't really grow up until she realized growing up has nothing to do with age (I think we all know adult people who haven't grown up). Growing up has everything to do with accepting that, in the end, we choose our own life paths and if we wish to have a good and happy life it is up to us and no one else.
Causes JoElle Martin Supports
Guide Dogs of America
Give Kids the World