Time to Grow Up
Updated: Sep 14, 2018
You will not believe what happened to me this past month and a half! Can you guess?! Ha, I won’t leave you to too much suspense, but I got writers block. “Gio, seriously? Already? You only made two blogs, and should have multiple ideas to make others.” Yes, I know, and it should be easy to tell you all about my thoughts and feelings. So, why was it hard for me this time? It’s because this topic has been the theme of 2017. And not just because it’s a common topic, does it make it easier to write about it. It has been hard for me. I don’t even blame my crazy life schedule of work, school, family, church, etc. You know what my problem really was, I didn’t know how to approach this in the manner that felt natural to me.
There were countless times I would begin and then suddenly feel it was not right, or I would start it, and feel it was not fully honest. So after much false starts, here it is.
Growing up. Most people can link that to actual physical growth like height and even weight, young to old. But the way I am going to link it is from adolescent to adulthood. Like I mentioned before, it has been the theme of 2017. Whether it was subtle or told to me bluntly, it has been the main discussion of my year and thoughts. “Its time for you to grow up”, “you need to start acting like an adult”, “you need to be a man”. If you have never been told these phrases, I applaud you, because that means you have gotten through life like the world has expected you to do. No issues, no problems. Unlucky for me, I have heard that from countless people. So why has it taken me so long to actually grow up? To actually act like an adult?
Simple. Those around me have shown me that growing up, becoming an adult, means to become someone you are not. And to me that has been the one thing I didn’t want to do. Become someone that had no connection of my younger self, that when I look back, I would say, “my younger self is dead.” Now don’t get me confused. I knew that this day was bound to come, where I would need to be a man and leave childish things behind. And I know that who I was and who I am now is totally different and that we do become better than we were before, but the fact that everyone showed me it just means to either forget who you were completely or keep it down with a vice, is the reason I was afraid to take the step.
I noticed that I started to act like I did prior to my mission. I couldn’t handle being confronted, I would hide my emotions, I would bing watch my shows ignoring everyone around me, hesitant to defend myself or others when I knew it wasn’t my or their fault. This was not only with my wife, but everyone. No sugarcoating it, but everyone took advantage of me during that time and made me feel less of a person and less of a man. They wanted me to focus my blame on one person, when in reality they were much to blame as the person they were accusing. If being an adult meant to not take responsibility of your own actions and blame others, than I didn’t want to be that. When I tried to explain how I really felt, I would not say it correctly, adding “we” instead of “I” or holding some things back, causing them to think it was not my own words, and causing them to think it was not my own words and they would reply saying my way of thinking was wrong and that I needed to change. Struggling to express myself correctly had me start losing confidence in myself, which lead self doubt and depression. Now, i’m not here to discuss that part, but mainly what I realized.
I finally got the courage to talk it out with my wife. She lovingly listened, and even though it was hard for me to express my true feelings, the words came out exactly how they should have, leaving nothing out. By letting all my emotions out, I could see clearly the reason for why I was postponing growing up. I came to realize that if I want everyone to take me seriously, I need to change. Just like JD in my all time favorite tv show “Scrubs”, I have to start acting like an adult. However, it must be done by my way, like his best friend Turk told him, which also applies to my situation, “When you need to act like an adult, you must be responsible and mature, but you must also be yourself... at times immature and doing silly things, because that is what makes you, you” (paraphrasing).
That has now lead me to start making the changes necessary to become an adult, but not forget who I really am. It is a work in progress and sometimes harder than I imagine, but I know it is something I must do and I want to prove to myself that I can do it, without following the crowd. Just like in Wayne’s World 2 “being an adult means facing responsibility, yet still taking the time to have fun.”
I will grow up, and I will still be me. And who is that? Giovanni. Imaginative, funny, loving, kind, caring, protector, father, husband, loves to sing and dance, loves movies, hopeless romantic, friendly, outgoing, weird. Me.