I’m sure you’ve heard it before … “why don’t you just grow up”…  I’ve heard this in many different contexts throughout my life.  I been told to “grow up” and I’ve also told others to “grow up”. All of this talk about being a grown up got me thinking, what does it really mean to be a grown up?  

The first thing that comes to mind is being self-sufficient in the world.  You live on your own, away from your parents, have a job, pay your own rent and expenses.  This isn’t even a good indicator, as many adult children live at home to care for their extended family and parents.  We all know it takes a very grown up person to care for others at their own expense.  What about the emotional maturity that you need as a grown up?  How do you acquire and measure emotional maturity?

It’s possible that being a grown up changes throughout your life.  What it means to be grown up at age 5 is very different from at age 21, or 45.  The decisions you make at each stage are changing based on your current situation.

For me, being a grown up, means you’ve learned to be your own parent.  To explain it better, you’ve learned to make decisions and choices in life that are for the betterment of yourself, as if you were parenting a child.  It takes a long time to get to this place, and still there are days when the 5, 12, or 18-year-old inside me is dying to run the show.  I know when I place the same level of care and concern on a decision that I would use for my child, I’m acting as a GROWN WOMAN.   I feel healthy and empowered.

When was the last time someone told you to “grow up”?  How did you react?  Did you alter your actions in life?