Growing up is one of the greatest adventures everyone is entitled to, or I must say, obliged to experience. It’s the longest adventure with no definite time span. It’s like joining a random road trip without knowing exactly where you’re headed. Growing up is exciting, but a little bit scary.
Here are big little lessons I gained from growing up:
1. Don’t let fear reign over you.
Seriously, don’t. I grew up clothed with fear. I feared rejection, making mistakes, taking risks, opening up to the world, and other things I realized I shouldn’t have been afraid of. I have let fear exchange opportunities with regrets. Don’t wait for decades in your life before you let go of fear. As long as what you do doesn’t displease God, don’t fear. Take every chance life brings you. It may be a bit cliché, but you only really live once. Step away from fear, and take a big step towards your dreams.
2. Maximize every stage in your life.
Don’t hurry life. Be patient. Imagine stages in your life as destinations you could only visit once. Don’t be so excited with the future that you forget to enjoy the present. There’s a time and season for everything. While you’re a kid, enjoy being a kid. While you’re a student, enjoy being a student. Don’t rush into relationships, there’s a time for that. Maximize every stage in your life, leaving no space for “what ifs” and regrets. Gather every lesson each life stage teaches you.
3. Don’t do things you would end up regretting.
Imagine life as a big puzzle piece. Even the teeny tiniest pieces can contribute to the big picture. Even the things you do in secret will contribute to who you are, and who you will be. I wish I realized this earlier. Do things you wouldn’t be ashamed to tell your future children and grandchildren. But, if you fall, get back up. Learn from your fall. Life goes on.
4. Love the family you are given.
You are there for a purpose. God has His reasons why you’re in that family. At an early age of six, I had my fair share of heartbreaks because of family problems. As a kid, I didn’t understand why, so I envied other families. But, when I grew up, I realized that God allowed those struggles in our family to make us stronger and closer to Him. Those experiences taught me the things I should and should not do when I’ll have a family of my own. Love them. Love and obey your parent, that’s the secret to a long and prosperous life.
5. Be grateful.
Gratitude could make you rich even when you don’t have lots of everything. In contrast, being ungrateful will make you miss the blessings God showers over you. Count your blessings instead of counting others’ and you’ll appreciate every stage in your life even more. When you reach your twenties, you’ll realize that the little things you have taken for granted in your early years are actually the big things that will make you smile later in life.
6. Accept the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Growing up isn’t an easy ride. There will be a lot of bumpy and rocky roads, but there will also be destinations that will put you in awe. The good will motivate you to keep on. The bad and the ugly will give you wisdom and life lessons. Learn from me, learn from others. Learn from your own experiences and mistakes. Leave your emotional baggage behind, and pack light. Accept that the good, the bad, and the ugly are necessary parts of a great life story.
7. Let God be your driver.
Last but definitely not the least, give God the steering wheel. It’s hard to go through growing up alone. Let Him shift your gears to the right direction. He’ll bring you to the right places. It’s never too late to take a detour!
Pack light and brave your life’s greatest adventure!
What has growing up taught you?