Up until I got pregnant, my favorite pasttime was pontificating about the great unknowns. Love, death, religion, the existence of God, the value of life – all of these issues mattered significantly to my curious and pretentious mind. I swore up and down that I was in the process of “figuring out all of the important issues”, and that I was thisclose to actually succeeding at my task.
Every time I came across a seemingly pivotal realization, I chalked it up to “growing up.” Well of course I just figured this out; I’m growing up. And I guess, in that way, “growing up” was almost linear, like some race to a finish line of fulfillment. Every time I noticed something new, I was only adding to my momentum, getting that much closer to being a full-fledged adult. I was buying my way into a seemingly sanctified stage of life, wherein I was master and controller of My Self. I was getting closer to being my own person, a person who was untouchable by anyone’s needs and wants, a person who did as she pleased and was pleased by what she did. A person who didn’t need to justify her actions.
But then I made the decision to become a mom, and I realized that whatever weight the term growing up had ever carried was now shifted and downgraded into practical non-existence. I’m going to be a mom; this is My Self. In one fell swoop, without even trying, I’d become the person I’d been attempting to become for so long. The woman who didn’t want or need agreement or justification to live her life the way she wanted. The woman who just knows.
Maybe I’m looking too deeply into that term, growing up. Maybe I’m finding insult where it doesn’t exist. Maybe I’m making it out to be worse than it really is. Maybe. Or maybe growing up is something I’ve outgrown, and therefore find no use for. Maybe growing up is what happens when you’re still unsure about who you are and what you’re about (things that don’t apply to me). Maybe growing up is a race whose finish line I’ve finally crossed. Maybe.
I can say with certainty that I still have those A-ha! moments that put the world into focus. I still have those discussions that tweak my perspectives and make me analyze. I still pontificate pretentiously, ad nauseum. But doing so only seems to reaffirm an already hard-won scrap of knowledge. When these A-ha! moments happen, I am not enlightened, but instead reminded of an enlightenment that I’ve experienced. Instead of learning who I am, I’m merely acknowledging what’s there. It’s no longer called growing up. It’s simply called being me.