Blossom When You Ought To

When I was a kid, I continually hoped, prayed and wished to be—a grown-up. I’ convinced this was because I was surrounded by adults growing up. My parents had no other children. My grandparents, who lived next door) only had me as a nearby grandchild. They all talked to me like I was an adult. They all had expectations that I would behave well—like an adult. They encouraged me in adult-like pursuits (at least in my mind)—reading, gardening, playing piano, taking ballet, studying hard, and working harder.

I used to think it must be great to be an adult because you could get out into the world and learn even more things and be in charge of your own life. I couldn’t wait.

Looking back now, I wish I hadn’t been so eager to grow up. This idea has been roaming around my head since I did my draft of my first novel. It’s about a character I created for a role-playing game my friends and I play. The heroine is named Opal, and she is sixteen when the book starts. Like so many protagonists throughout time, Opal, while young, has through the circumstances of her life become much wiser than her years. She, too, longs to be a grown-up. She keenly feels the detriment of being young in an adult world. She wants to choose her own way and do what she feels is right on her own terms. I can remember having these same hopes. Now that I am a grown-up, though, I fear sometimes I’m not very good at adulting.

I still don’t know how to iron, and I try to avoid it at all costs. Thank goodness for wrinkle-resistant cloth. I tire of trying to figure out what to make for dinner, and I don’t always get a second opinion about the topic when I ask for help. I can’t figure out how we can get our new kitten to warm up to us. I don’t want to go to the grocery store or the bank after work today. Or any day, for that matter. But still, I like being able to do things on my own terms.

I think we all feel that way sometimes. We get to captain our own ship. We can take a left or avoid the shallows if we see them coming without anyone else’s advice. There’s freedom in that. And we can all make it work no matter what issue or situation we’re living in. Being able to choose your own course is important. So, stop and take stock. Know yourself— Is it time to blossom yet? If it’s time to blossom, get out there and wow the world with what you have to give. If not, be patient. Your spring is on the way.

Marcie Herman Riebe

Marcie is a bilingual caseworker by day, a university adjunct by night, and an aspiring writer at times in between. An import to NEPA, she has been active in the arts for many years from theatre to forensics to music. Her interest in the arts continues as founder of Ink, an area writer's group, a founding member of Voce Angeli (NEPA's only all-female chamber choir), and as a columnist for Thirty-Third Wheel. She loves all things Pittsburgh, particularly the University of Pittsburgh where she earned her Master of Arts in Linguistics. She lives in Scranton with her handsome husband, Pete, and their horde of cats: Napoleon, King Ajax, Sam, and Dean.

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