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on the power of showing up

note: I wrote this post in April of 2019 (pre-COVID). It's been sitting in my drafts for quite a while, but I think it's time for it to see the light of day. It's been helpful for me to reread over the past few months, especially as I continue to try to make an effort to write, and I hope it can be helpful to you, too. i got an invite to a writers' group a few months ago, and i had never felt like more of a fraud in my life. it had been months, if not years, since i'd felt like a writer. the proverbial well of words in my heart had dried up, it seemed, and i wasn't sure if it was ever coming back. i agreed to go out of a sense of helplessness—i'd identified as a writer ever since i could remember. if i'm not a writer, who am i?  i told myself that it was important to show up and act like a writer even when i didn't feel like one, because even though i hadn't been writing, i reassured myself, i still was a writer. but sometimes the words f


I'm turning sixteen this month. And I'm resisting the change with everything in me.

I don't like change. I don't like getting older. I don't like growing up.

And yet at the same time, I do like it. I crave adventure. I long to drive, get my own car, and live life. I want to grow up.

And yet I don't. It's confusing, I know. Perhaps you can relate?

Peter Pan has been weighing heavily on my thoughts lately. So has Neverland. Second star to the right, and straight on till morning.

It's not that hard to find Neverland. Is it?

I posted a status on Facebook, asking my friends to direct me to the nearest Neverland. Thankfully they reassured me that growing up isn't all that bad.

And maybe, I'm thinking, it isn't.

Everyone resists growing up. Adults complain, wishing they were younger. But what would happen if I met growing up with open arms? What if I welcomed it? What if I saw it as an adventure just waiting to happen?A lot of things might change, wouldn't they? The least of which being my age.

I kind of feel like growing up is my impending doom, comparable to the dark storm clouds that linger in the sky. But when I think about storms, an image comes to mind of a ship tossed by the waves. A brave sea-captain stands on the deck. Staring at the storm. Welcoming it. Wanting to take on the danger and the adventure and the rain... and everything that comes with it. I want to be like that sea-captain, as unrealistic and idyllic as he sounds. Adventure is out there, we've just gotta find it.

Maybe growing bad isn't half bad. Maybe I've got it wrong. Maybe Neverland is found when you grow up. Maybe the adventure is in living life, and greeting it with arms wide open.

In the meantime, though, I'll still be looking for Peter Pan.

And on my sixteenth birthday, I'll probably be watching a handful of Disney movies. Just so you know.


  1. Don't worry - I'm sixteen, nearing seventeen now, and just as mental as I ever was. It's not your age that counts, it's how you deal with it, and everything it drags along in its wake. Like you, I HATE change in BIG FAT YELLOW CAPITAL LETTERS!!!

    So, what do I do with it? I let it happen, ride out the storm, get used to it and then think "well, that wasn't so hard." And I remind myself it's what's inside that counts. I don't care if I'm laughed at, I will continue dancing around singing to The Circle of Life in my room, I will cuddle my stuffed dragon when I feel insecure, I will make up silly rhymes and names for things to help me remember them like I did when I was ten.

    Stuff the numbers - they're just pointless squigglies anyway ;)

  2. Neverland, Narnia, the Shire...wherever it is, I'd just like to get away for a while!! I don't like change too much either...though as I'm getting older, it's a bit easier to deal with, to just go with the flow ;) Don't worry...I'm 19 and though I've changed somewhat drastically since I was 15, I still have Disney movie/coloring days...some parts of us will stick with us forever!! So fear not: life flies by, but as long as we've got God on our side (which will be well, forever ;)), we've no need to worry!! Happy early birthday! And though you're resisting it, I hope you truly enjoy your day! :)
    ~Lauren :)

  3. I'm 34 and friends with Charely Robson. We have a blast, just ask her. :}

    Just because I've lived a few years past my youth doesn't mean I've set aside my playful spirit. Sure I have a lot more responsibility than I did when I was sixteen, but there is also a bit more freedom to choose to do exactly what I want to do with my free time.

    Growing up doens't mean growing old. It means facing new adventures and learning new things!

    My birthday is this month too and watching a whole bunch of Disney movies sounds like a great plan... if only my kids weren't still so adverse to tension and plot. :}

    :} Cathryn

  4. I know how it feels to want to hide from all in sight--to make a blanket fort and stay. there. forever. I know how it feels to want to stop time. But I also know how it feels to set foot on that trembling, rollicking ship of Adventure. I know how it feels to look on the world with eyes shining half with anticipation and half with fright. I know how it feels to be bowled over by overwhelming waves of Change, and then lifted up again by great gusts of Hope.

    Hang in there, my dear. He is holding your hand through all uncertainty. A good many changes get easier to take after awhile. Truly. Look for the good in Change, the excitement, and leave the fear at your Father's feet.

    Happy birthday, dear Kylie. Forget your age and simply celebrate you. Because you are awesome. So there. ^.^


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