“Have I Turned Boring?”
Last month, my friend Ally who’s also in her late twenties shared with me her year-end reflection. I had known about her buying a new car and condo unit, but apparently, she had a lot of other adulting endeavors. She had her home’s roof repaired. She initiated pest control services for her whole compound. And, soon — ” The scariest responsibility of them all” — she might have to assume management of her family’s small bakery, on top of her day job.
I admired her even more after knowing about all those big-ticket grown-up things. Needless to say, Ally was proud of herself, too! But she couldn’t help but be saddened by one thing: the thought of letting go of being a child.
“I feel like this is the end of my childhood and I’m getting REALLY OLD.” She expounds:
I feel like I’m turning into a boring person. I don’t go out and let myself get wasted anymore and I’m usually the first to leave the party. I’m like Cinderella who goes home at midnight, and then I think to myself, “Have I turned boring?” I’m not who I used to be. I’m a bit more choosy with what I spend my time on. It’s so mature. :( And I need advice that that’s okay because it feels pretty sad.
As I’ll explain more later, I’m grateful Ally talked about this because I realized it was something I, myself, needed to unpack.
This piece answers two questions: What happens when we outgrow things? What is the real beauty of maturity?
The end of an era
Back in college, in a Psychology class, our professor asked us to map out our self-concept. It was pretty elementary homework: write your name at the center of a piece of paper, then add spokes for the things that form your “self”. That is, how do you perceive yourself? What do you identify as? What are your dominant traits and characteristics?
I’d written “daughter”, “sister”, “business student” among other things, but when I had the chance to share my self-concept map, the first thing I said was “I’m a dancer.” By then, I’d been dancing almost throughout my adolescence. I was super active in my university’s dance team. United in our obsession, my teammates and I would quip…