... and you thought being a grown-up was a loooooong ways off? You lived in the moment and didn't think about the future?
Remember when you were 13, and you're thinking "Hey, I'm a teenager!!"
As a 14 year old, did you ever look at the future for a moment and count the years until you could drive? Yikes, only two years... one, if you're only counting until your learner's permit.
Now, as that 14 year old, look ahead to being an adult. Four years. Crikey. That's closer than you though, isn't it.
Where did the time go, huh? A few years ago you were goofing around, not thinking about the future. Growing up? Meh, you had a long time before you had to worry about that. Who wants to be grown up anyway?
High school came around. At first you couldn't believe it. Fourteen years old... just another year, like every other. Then it hits you. You're in high school. Woah. Suddenly you feel like you're growing up really quickly.
You start thinking about college as you get older. When you were little, you said you wanted to be such-and-such when you grew up. But that wasn't going to happen for a while. Now it's something that's going to happen in the near future. You have to decide what you really want to do with your life. Yikes. This decision could affect your whole life. If you're a Christian, you start praying, begging God to show you what to do. It's a hard choice, sometimes. Sometimes you know what you want to do, but sometimes it takes some thought. You have to consider how much money you'll make. If it's something you'll want to do for the rest of your life. Do you want to get married and have kids someday? Is this job going to prevent that from happening (or even keep you away from your family more than you'd like)? You spend months or even years trying to make that decision, because you can't really change it after you get your degree.
Yeah, you still have 2-4 more years after starting highschool before you actually have to worry about college. But you can still sense that this is an important decision, and you put a lot of thought into it.
Something else that makes you realize you're growing up is when you start dating. Eight years old and you knew it would be forever before you could have a boyfriend (I'm writing from a girl's perspective, in case you didn't notice XD). Maybe you cared and maybe you didn't. Not that it mattered anyway, you were only 8. Or maybe you thought you were so grown up and wished you didn't have to wait so long, because you didn't even understand the reason for dating. Either way, it was a long way off.
Buuuut then you get in highschool. Guys start asking you out. You actually sit down and think this thing over. No more little kid notions about dating and marriage. What is it you actually look for in a guy? What would make to want you marry someone? You probably don't spend as much time thinking about that as you do dating.
You probably realize it just might be a good time to start setting rules for yourself. Maybe if your parents haven't given you any rules, you'll make some of your own (or you might make more to add to theirs). Maybe they haven't said anything about how old you have to be, so you decide for yourself. 16? 17? After you finish highschool? And why would you even start dating someone in the first place? Because they're "cute"? Maybe that's what you thought when you were 8, but now you actually think about this. You think about what you look for in a husband (because you realize that dating is ultimately to find someone to marry). You start thinking more maturely than before.
Sometimes you might dream about what it'd be like to be grown up and living on your own (or with your husband --and kids if you have any). You start feeling more grown up and people have to remind you to slow down. You're still young. Planning is okay, but if you don't pay attention to the here and now you'll miss out on so many things. Don't forget the many times you have kicked yourself in the last few months remembering how grown up you thought you were when you were 8 years old. Remember all those stupid diary entries that you just want to burn sometimes? Yeah, let's not repeat that. You'll probably look back when you're twenty and think "Man, I was a stupid highschooler."
You really start feeling older when your friends start graduating and some of them are adults. You're thinking "Where did the time go? Is this really happening?"
It's crazy sometimes. This year's over, and it flew by in the time it took you to blink. What about next year? Is it going to be the same?
What did you accomplish this year? Did you take time to thank God that He's allowed you to live this long? People die every day, yet you're still here. Yeah, you're probably thinking "I'm too young to die. Ashley, I don't know where you're getting this idea. I have my whole life ahead of me." Well think again. One out of every one people die. People our age have died. There's no such thing as "too young to die". Think of all of the millions of babies that are murdered every year (Yes, abortion is murder. Don't even get me started on that.). If anyone is "too young to die", it'd be them. Those poor, innocent children. But guess what, they die. Nothing's keeping you alive on this earth but God's mercy and grace. Thank Him for your life. Don't throw it away. Try to make your life worthwhile. Grow close to God. Tell your friends about Him. Try to make decisions that will honor Him. And ask Him for help when you don't know how to make those right decisions.
Don't be always hoping for the future. It's going to be here sooner than you think. You know how these high school years fly by? The rest of your life is going to be like that, and you'll be wishing for more time. Live every day as if it's a blessing, because it is. When you were eight, you thought you had all the time in the world. But now you're here. Eight years old is miles away now. You'll never get those years back. So make the most of the ones you have left. Enjoy growing up but don't rush it.
Or maybe you're way different than I was and am. But anyway, thanks for reading <3