It seems sometimes we evolve slowly into maturity. There are growth marks on the wall that creep upwards or more complicated books being read. We hardly notice until some great-aunt says how big you are becoming. These are often passive times, when we do little to change beyond the typical day-to-day stuff.
Then there are times when you grow suddenly. It's like someone flicked a switch and a new room of your life is revealed. I remember one such moment in my teen years.
I was 16 and working at a summer camp on Georgian Bay. It was a beautiful and I was thrilled to be away on my own, making new relationships with peers without constant grown-ups present. We'd work a camp session then have a few days off before the next group. Before we had headed out, the staff planned on coming back a day early to party together. Awesome!
... Except I didn't get the memo. I guess I'd left before the final plans and they weren't coming back early. My dad dropped me back at camp that afternoon and I was alone. Completely alone. The main cabin with the phone and kitchen was locked but my cabin was open.
So I made a choice. I could have hiked down the road to a cottage and called home. But I didn't. I spent the night alone at camp. I have never been more glad that I don't watch horror movies! Music kept me company and I got to enjoy the simplicity of being by myself. *click!* A piece of me became an adult that night. I was free from distraction and my confidence in myself grew.
The next morning I was floating in an inner tube on the bay when the crew arrived. I was happy to see them but it wasn't as big a deal as I thought it might be. I liked the person I saw in the mirror that next day. She didn't need to be a piece of someone else's plan, she had plans of her own. It is the best foundation I could have given myself.
Do you recall a milestone moment? Do share!