Back story: When a blast from the past used to show up in my life (especially during my prime), I would get completely thrown off my game. However lately I have been realizing how different my responses are when something of that nature happens – my actions/reactions are “mature.” It got me thinking about if the change was because I was older or because I had experienced this situation before and therefore mentally prepared to address the past.
I have never been one to believe in the idea that maturity is solely determined by age.
Often times when I am having this debate with someone, it typically is about their significant other. When one of my friends pulls the scientific “well guys brains aren’t fully developed until the age of 25, which means they will forever be immature until then,” I almost always rebuttal their statement. While that theory may stand true in many cases, I have seen some of my peers act more mature than 40+ year-old adults.
Sometimes age can be ‘just’ a number, with maturity developing from experience.
[Pause] What is maturity? Of course I looked it up and thought this was the best definition from the Oxford English Dictionary:
[Resume] Personally I feel as though I am mature because I was exposed to a lot. People often times take that statement out of context, so let me quickly explain. My parents didn’t shelter me (that much), I grew up in Chicago (which is something extremely unique, special and sometimes difficult), and I hung out around people who, although my age, were experienced in all aspects of life. I could add on to the list, but there is no need. Simply put, those foundations of my life (plus some) have led to various experiences, which have aware and prepared for a lot of things I have already faced and will face.
Now referencing the definition of maturity, I do agree that now that I am twenty-years-old I am technically considered “grown,” but that doesn’t change the fact that I felt in some way mentally mature by age 16/17.
I don’t have a conclusion to this post as I am still processing whether or not my argument is valid or even understandable. I’m somewhat opposed to answering my post with an “it depends on the person” response, but maybe it’s true that both age and experience play a role.
“Most people don’t grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children, and call that maturity. What that is, is aging.”
~Dr. Maya Angelou