5pm. November. The skies are darkening, streetlamps are turning on; casting their strange orange glow. The sun is just about to nip off for the next 12 hours. I cross the road and am immediately greeted with a large pile of beautiful, brown leaves. Without hesitation, I launch my wellies into the mound and give an almighty kick that I’m sure Sturridge would have applauded me for. And, the strangest thought comes to me: “I wonder what age people stop kicking piles of leaves?”
For me, I’m someone who is 21 going on 12. Or perhaps even 7. And I’m completely cool with that. In fact, yesterday, I bought this epic 200 page kid’s book called ‘Megadoodle’ which is this incredibly awesome book where you can colour in dinosaurs, draw and create movie scenes, design maps and loaaaads of other stuff. OH YES. Some people try to grow up too quickly.
At school, people jumped into relationships, excessively drunk alcohol and did ‘adult’ things to appear cool to try and advance their years in some way. I decided from a young age that this was stuff that I didn’t want to get involved in. That I would grow in myself, rather than going out with people for the sake of it or get drunk to try to be someone different. Now, it’s not a secret that I don’t drink alcohol. In fact, it becomes a bit of a joke on nights out when I’m boogying my butt off and people say, “Cor Sarah, how many J20s have you had tonight?!” It’s a choice that I decided in my early teens that I wouldn’t drink alchomofrol. I didn’t like the stuff, didn’t think it was cool to drink to excess and simply thought, and still think, that I’m better without it. Just gimme a juice and I’ll be hyper, happy and will dance the night away. I had this viewpoint when I was a kid and this is still my perception now. I quite enjoy having the same views I did as a kid. It makes me feel like even through everything, I’ve been true to myself and I feel that’s so important for everyone to be; true to themselves.
I’ve finished three beautiful years at university in Winchester and am now in the wonderful world of work. And, well, I feel old because of this. I turned 21 three months ago, and it just sounds like a huge number to me. I just want to be back in my over-sized burgundy school blazer with my silly, huge red backpack on my first day in Year 7 where we’d goof around in tutor group and laugh about the most ridiculous things. However, life can still be like this.
Just because we all age in years, doesn’t mean our mindset has to change. Yes, I have grown older, learnt many lessons, have grown to be a confident young woman who is currently understanding and learning how to communicate effectively with people, and I’m becoming wiser and wiser day by day. But I refuse to lose the things I loved doing when I was younger, just because I’ve grown a year older. Like, enjoying kicking piles of leaves, pulling silly faces, boogying like a goon in public, buying kid’s books, watching a cheeky bit of CBBC on a Saturday morning and be the biggest kid I can be. God has given me this incredible amount of time; I now have a brilliant job where I am surrounded by some really incredible staff and students and I class many of them as great friends. He’s given me the time I need to grow in myself and gain some extra general skills before I prepare to be a teacher in the future. I’m going to continue to have a joyful mindset and be ‘me’ in everything. So, don’t over-complicate life just because your number in age is growing; be happy, do spontaneous things, inspire strangers, be honest, build strong friendships, dance in the rain (even if it does make your mascara run!) be creative, write friends silly letters like you might have done as a kid, go on a really windy walk and see how tangled your hair will get, smile at EVERYONE, don’t over complicate things, be true to yourself and just enjoy the little things like a child would.
Matthew 18 v 2-4.