Whatever would we have done without our 20s? Those glorious days when we had the opportunity to be bad, chase boys, be irresponsible and then make our way home. All within reason of course. Initially I was going to say within the limits of not hurting people but who are we kidding, we hurt plenty of people in those days. Most of us just attribute it to the process of growing up and I’m pretty sure that no one is holding onto those slights. I would hope that we are all over it.
But seriously though, how can you possibly make your way towards being a semi-whole person without that time to falter a bit while still trying hard to be good? How can you determine what your values specifically are without testing the boundaries? How do you know what you will and will not stand for without witnessing first hand what you and others are capable of? How do you function without the ability to not be a judgmental brute?
And you know what, maybe those who never participated were always more sure of themselves than the rest of us. I’m pretty sure that they were busy winning awards and their names were honored at convocation. Seriously, congratulations on working so hard. No, seriously, that type of discipline is often more valuable than actual talent. But I do hope that you were just not afraid of what other people might think or what punishment you’d receive for breaking the rules. Because if that is the case, you might have missed out on an integral life phase too. Judging by the careers of my friends and peers we made it out alright too, non?
You know when you need this “wild” time the most? You need it when you’ve learned to reign it it, or as my favorite blogger and media personality Lainey would say, when you’ve learnt to “sit down.” Because there will be plenty of occasions in life when you have to be the more honorable person and behave with grace and dignity. There will be times when you’ll be called on to be selfless and put the well-being of your family above your own.
These thoughts and others are what I ruminated on a lot when I was in the early months as a first-time mother. The lack of experience with babies drove me, a perfectionist, absolutely crazy. I like to be prepared and sorry to say that this is the one time when you kind of just have to learn as you go. I also have always liked to have my own space and my own time, which are the very first things that go. Suddenly, you have someone who depends on you all the time. Funnily enough, when my calling came to give it all, I thought about the times when I was the most selfish. As strange as it sounds, this integral phase when I had to diminish my wants, at least for a little while, was made easier because I already had had that time to be free.
So many people are petrified of raising girls. I’ve heard it said again and again, about how a girl would be nice but they would be so much harder later. As many of you know, I grew up mainly with women since even in a large family where both my parents had four other siblings, everyone inherited daughters but one. I say that we are blessed. Observing all of my cousins I am proud that we are so different but all found a way to use our talents to callings that we love. I’m so honored to be amongst women who stayed true to themselves. So, I don’t fear raising a daughter. I think she could do worse than a woman who was trained academically and by life to be a feminist. Because, due to my politics I believe in her gender equality. Part of that gender equality is faith in her personhood and belief in my chance to help instill good values that she can always return to. I have the best parents. Trust me, we always come back.