Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ever Hear Somebody Say "I'm Grown"?

Today I have been talking about things that the younger crowd are saying.  Such as "Keeping it Real", "Real Talk", "Keep it 100" and other things.  But there is one that I hear a lot of people saying it, the unfortunate problem is if you are saying it, then it probably is an inaccurate statement.  If you have to run around and tell someone that "I am grown dammit" then guess what you have done something that proves you aren't.  Most people say things when they are confronted and they don't want to accept the blame, or are on the defensive.  You telling me to mind my own business because you are grown, just proves to me that you aren't, that you are acting immature and aren't even willing to discuss whatever it is that is going on.  I have been dealing with youth and slang for as long as I can remember. My nephew is 21 years old, as a matter of fact just turned it last month, he started living with me and being around me all the time when he was about 13 to 15 somewhere in there.  Basically I raised him and tried to bring him up the best way that I knew how.  Yes, I went through all the teen angst and rebellion, not to mention all the usual slang terminology that we are discussing today.  I also raised a dear friend of mine's grandson after she passed away in 2008, he just happened to be my nephew Kodi's best friend named Bobby.  Now for you that haven't put it all together, Bobby is the same Bobby that has been mentioned in some of my blog entries. He is an ex.  Yes I dated him, he was 18 when we started started dating each other. Which was kind of awkward me trying to be a parent and boyfriend at the same time.  Honestly, didn't turn out well.

Anyhow, back on the topic of "I'm Grown". I have come to understand and realize that anytime someone is throwing it about, means that they are in an uncomfortable position, they feel challenged and are on the defensive.  Probably because you are questioning them on why they did something, or why they were acting a certain way, or doing something that you didn't quite understand.  Anyone or more of these reasons could be why.  Something has caused you to call them on their behavior and they are feeling vulnerable and threatened, have locked down in a defensive stance and you are probably not going to get anywhere further with them in this discussion.  You are going to have to regroup yourself and try a different tactic if you really want to discuss with them the matter, because once they have locked down with I'm grown, trust me you aren't going to get any further with them.

What I want my younger readers to understand, if you really and truly are grown, you will never have to throw that out there. Your actions are going to prove to us that you are grown, and that you can handle yourself with dignity and maturity and being grown has nothing to do with it.  So why do you feel you need to point out to someone that you feel you are grown and can handle whatever the situation is? Because, clearly you can't and it is obvious to those of us that are trying to help you and offer advice.  Shutting down and locking out those that care about you is self-defeating and limits your ability to utilize their experience and advice to your advantage.  Further, if you think you are grown and a man or woman and can handle yourself accordingly then why are we having a discussion in the first place? See your actions or behavior have brought to a point that has us worried and we are trying to help you, do the right thing by you and protect you.  Trust me when I tell you everyone of us needs another person out there looking out for us, helping us or protecting us, because life is harsh, unfair and can beat you down to a breaking point.  When someone is reaching out to you with compassion and concern, it is in your best favor to accept it graciously and move on.

Now, Bobby and Kodi were constantly getting into drugs and experimenting with things and drinking and partying all night, and it wasn't till both of them suffered an overdose of drugs that they understood my concern, and why I was so hard on them, and after them to cut down, be careful, to think first, etc.  Bobby went into seizures and fits of unconsciousness and had to be taken away by ambulance that is how bad it had gotten. We had fought just that afternoon about his drug usage and what could happen and he told me to Fuck off he was grown and knew what he was doing. Do you know that after they pumped his stomach and gave him fluids I got a call from him, telling me how sorry and stupid he had been. That he had acted out and rebelled because he thought that he was impressing me and others by acting like he was grown. He learned a lesson but the hard way.  Kodi had it a bit easier, he was sick as a dog, and ended up having to go to the hospital but didn't do near as much as Bobby had and didn't have to go through the stomach pumping and fluid flushing procedure, but both of them that night learned that just because you say it to yourself and others, doesn't actually make it so.

As we grow and mature we go through rites of passage, these are milestones that signify the departure from childhood into adulthood.  You can probably look at it this way, they are the terrifying and traumatic events that transform a child into an adult, and yes that transformation and metamorphosis is usually terrifying, scary and traumatic to those going through them.  Adolescence and the changes the body is going through as well as all the things your mind has to go through can be a daunting experience, and we know that it is life changing, because once a child enters puberty or adolescence they come out on the other side an adult.  You can't rush these changes, you have to experience them, live through them, and learn from them.  Life is all about growing up, maturing, reaching a higher level of understanding and consciousness, but it is also about being reborn, transformed and molded by our experiences and the lessons we learn along the way.  Remember that I keep telling you that it is the journey that makes the person not the places they stop, because we are constantly growing and traveling, it is the path that we take that mold us and shape us into the people we are today. The places we stop and rest are way points or rest stops along in a never ending journey, they are not what defines us.

So please stop telling us you are grown, you can handle it, instead show us. Prove to us that you are an adult and a man and that you can handle the challenges life throws at you with integrity, honor and maturity, and when you do, I promise you we will stop trying to help you and protect you as much.  I can't tell you that we are going to totally stop, that we are not going to keep worrying about you, or offering advice, or help along the way, we are human and we care about you. We don't want you to forget that we are there for you and are your support network, that we have had experiences you haven't yet and can possibly offer you an alternative you haven't even considered.  So be patient with us as we are with you.

Don't be in such a hurry to grow up, it only gets harder from here.  Enjoy being taken care of and looked after by your parents and your family.  You have no idea of what bills really are or what responsibilities come with growing up. Enjoy your youth and childhood while you can, try not to be so hard on your parents and those that are trying to care for you. They just want to protect you and keep you from making the same mistakes they made, they want to save you from the pain that they went through and endured on their rite of passage.  Listen to what advice they have to offer, you might be surprised at how well most of it is going to work out in your favor and will make your life so much easier.   Try to be a little more open and honest with yourself and your parents, because it will make growing up that much easier for you.

If nothing else please don't tell us you're grown when clearly we can see that you aren't. Remember you won't have to tell me I will be able to see it. Because you demonstrate it in your words, thoughts, actions and reactions to each and every situation. You will be amazed at how perceptive parents and loved ones can be. They might even know you have reached adulthood before you have.

As always my hopes and dreams are with you,

Uncle B