Coming Of Age

By: Gabriela Yareliz

Sitcoms like “Boy Meets World” or “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” chronicle the daily lives of their characters. It is a series about watching people mature and reach some level of adulthood or maturity, with some laughs thrown in, in between.

I think life is very much like that. We all have our own coming-of-age chronicle unfolding. We learn to boil eggs without dropping the egg and cracking it in the pot filled with water (Do we learn? Do we, really?); we learn to not wear shoes that peel our feet to heavy walking events; we learn to separate our laundry; who we allow to borrow scented markers and other such important things. We pay rent, student loans, and we slowly realize that one thing does not make up our whole being. We are a mosaic of so many elements.

We learn that our identity is not in our schooling or social status; we should be unapologetically ourselves, and if someone doesn’t like it, tough luck; trying something new is good because we only live once; relationships are important, but they also shouldn’t rob us of our essence or joy… so many lessons. We learn them little by little. We learn the lessons as graduations, weddings and baby showers roll by. The lessons are like the edge pieces of a puzzle, slowly giving us the framework for all the pieces that go inside; the bigger picture.

Maybe we are wrong to think of “coming of age” solely when a child exits adolescence. We never really stop learning. It takes patience and an open mind to continue to learn the important lessons life throws at us.

Just like in any good sitcom, there are the seasons where everything begins; seasons of major growth; seasons of love; seasons of pain or breakups (“We were on a break,” Ross Geller said); seasons of change; seasons of more growth; seasons where we come to our senses; and seasons when the most important things are as they should be. Every moment– every lesson, leading up to the final episode. As we know, the final episode gives us the joy or resolution we longed for, or simply even just a spark of hope (Gilmore Girls, anyone?).

But as any true sitcom fan knows, we don’t just quote and remember the final episode. The final episode is often not even the most emotional or memorable. We remember all the hilarity, insanity and growth that led us there. We remember the journey.

I am still learning so much about myself every day. A new day can give us an opportunity to show a new type of strength or resolve. A new day teaches me to love and live in a better way.

Be patient with me. I am learning I have to be patient with myself. And I thank God every day for the amazing people I get to share this story with. This is my coming-of-age story. Thank you for being a part of it.

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