Age Doesn’t Determine Maturity

Brandy - Spring Valley, California
Entered on November 27, 2007

I believe that age is not an issue when determining someone’s maturity. I have been told time and time again, by strangers, that at the age of twenty-one, I am just plain too young to be thinking about marriage and family. People say that I should take my time and enjoy my college experience before life gets too hard and complicated.

Well, growing up with a mother addicted to drugs and men who like to beat up on her, I have already begun to live that hard, complicated life. At the age of ten, I was living from hotel to hotel, with only one bed for four people. Trying to take care of my new born brother was difficult for me, because I knew my mother was out trying to score some more crystal or make up with her boyfriend who just gave her two black eyes and a broken nose. We would spend our other nights taking late night trips to the emergency room because my mom was just too badly beaten. Sure there weren’t only bad times, but when they were “normal” I still had to take care of my self first. It was my job to get my self up and ready for school, sometimes without even brushing my hair or teeth because I was never told to. If my mom didn’t take me to McDonalds, it was my job to heat up a can of raviolis, while she and her boyfriend ate pork chops. These are just some of the day to day chores I had that forced me to grow up faster than everyone else I know.

It is not that I wanted to grow up fast; it was that I was forced to. If I didn’t learn by myself, then who would have taught me? Just because I am only twenty one years old and I have my whole life ahead of me, doesn’t mean that I haven’t lived enough to know and understand what I want in my own life. I know I want to be the mother that I never had and the wife my mother never was. I know I am capable of doing so and it doesn’t matter how young or old I am. Because I have already experienced so much in my short life, I believe that what ever my age is, I am mature enough to confidently make choices about how I want my life to be.