A lot of people attribute growing up to the number of years they’ve been alive. 18 and you’re old enough to gamble and fight in a war. 21, you’re old enough to drink. For me, it’s wisdom and experience. In my eyes wisdom comes from experience and I believe it’s possible to be older but still not grown up. I’ve met a lot of people. People who are in their 30’s and still living the high school life. People in high school that are old beyond their years.

People I’ve seen that are old beyond their years, usually had a lot of experience in different things. No, I’m not talking about sex drugs and alcohol. I’m talking about real life experiences, hardship. I believe that struggle helps us grow more than anything. When I was 12 years old, I started working under the table. My mother, being a worker herself. Lacked in providing basics such as food. It was rare that I had something other than breakfast shakes, trail mix, or ramen noodles to eat. Sometimes not even that. I remember stealing food from the cafeteria at school because I never had lunch money. So, I got a job. Provided for myself, yes she paid for the roof over my head but 90% of my meals came from me working.

So what does hardship do for us. Could make us miserable, I think a lot of people would agree with that. I also think a lot of people would agree that, it makes us appreciate what we have so much more. Think about it, if you’ve ever gone to bed hungry, tried to make it through school or work hungry. Shaking so bad because of the hunger. Safe to say you really appreciated your next me. A humbling experience no doubt.

I think hardship also makes us hard workers. Being driven by hunger is a powerful thing. Almost like the instinct to survive kicks in. You put your heart into what you’re doing no matter how small because that can have an affect on your next meal.

If you’re at a place in your life right now where you don’t have to worry about your next meal. Take a second just to think, think the worst if you will. What if you weren’t sure when that next meal is going to come. Would your appreciation of what you do for a living become more, or would you think oh that will never happen. Like before I developed schizophrenia and I thought the world could be mine. My point is, take a second out of your day to just look around. Look in your fridge, look at the roof over your head. Look at the commodities you’re able to afford yourself and think, what if I lost my ability to support this way of life. Appreciate what you have, be proud of what you’ve accomplished but don’t ever forget that at any moment, it could be taken away. If you can appreciate what you have, understand the value. I’d say you’re pretty mature and grown up.

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