Part of growing up is, I think, recognizing what you are that the world tells you you shouldn’t be, and what you are not that the world tells you you should be. I am many things—some things I am not proud of and some of which I am very proud—but I am still coming to grips with one characteristic in particular. It’s not especially revolutionary, happy, sad, or important, but it’s still there:
I am no fun.
As a child I paid no attention to this fact, in part because it probably wasn’t yet true! I ran around with the neighborhood kids, I rode bikes and climbed to the top of the jungle gym. I learned how to swim (kind of) and jump off the diving board (not really). I was in basketball, softball, soccer, cross country and track, tap dance, and Girl Scouts. I went to day camps and church camps and travelled in an RV and held bugs and made mud soup and wanted pets of multiple species. I went camping and liked it.
Now, at the ripe age of 21, I’m getting too old. I like to be clean and comfortable, unbothered and unblemished. I love how good I feel after a warm shower, and the thought of sacrificing something like that for a weekend in the woods doesn’t exactly thrill me. My feet don’t get dirty from running through neighbors’ backyards, crouching behind fences and bushes because maybe—if I’m fast enough this time—I’ll capture the flag. I found a scab the size of a pencil tip on my knee the other day and realized that I never get scabs anymore. I don’t slide into bases or get floor burn for diving for a loose ball in basketball.
Years and years ago, on a mission trip on the coast, I remember wading in a creek with my youth group. The trip leader asked if any of us were adventurous. I said I was, as we were doing essentially the only “adventurous” thing I like—hopping from rock to rock, wading barefoot in a stream—and I was giddy with happiness. A friend laughed out loud and said, “You, Kelly? Adventurous?” That stuck with me. That hurt me. And it shouldn’t have, because it was a harmless comment from a friend who meant nothing by it. But it put in motion several years of me jumping at chances to be someone I was not, just so I could show others that I had thick skin and big spirit.
But…I don’t. I generally have a small spirit when it comes to being adventurous. I won’t go on the rollercoaster with you or tag along to the haunted barn. I won’t kill the spider, step into the batter’s box, or rock climb if it’s real climbing on real rocks in the real sky are you kidding me whatsanepersondoesthat. If everyone else is a Fred or George Weasley, I’m the Hermione to their shenanigans. I tell little kids who aren’t mine to, “Be careful, honey!” My husband took a turn too fast on the golf cart this summer and it earned him a stern reprimand. (He kills the spiders and rides the rollercoasters. How did we end up together?)
I’ll tell you what I do have, though. A passionate spirit. Among other “spirits” (namely: impatient, sarcastic, and loyal). I am a pretty okay person just doing what I’m doing, and as long as I don’t tell God “no!” every time he tries to push me out of my comfort zone, I’m allowed to sit back and pass on whatever crazy adventures you kids want to go on.
I loved the freedom of being a kid, but I’ve grown out of it. If you never do, that’s admirable. How wonderful is it to have 30, 50, and 70 year olds wanting to sky dive or go to Olympic trials? That’s not me, though. You’ll find me in the back room, curled up with a blanket and a book full of Izzy Spellman’s latest cases. I’m no fun, and I’m alright with that because I guarantee if we hang out, you’ll have fun.
Before You Go:
What did you use to love, but have since grown to dislike?