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Encountering Adulthood
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Encountering Adulthood

 

            It was the moment of truth.  The moment I realized what it was all about.  This was when I first encountered my definition of adulthood:  knowing what it’s all about; knowing the truth.  In fewer words:  ceasing to be na´ve.

            How could someone do this to me?  How can someone be so cold and unfeeling?  What did I do to deserve being treated like I was nothing?  Why is this happening?  To understand the answers to these kinds of questions, a person must first make the transition into adulthood.  I stopped being na´ve about relationships seven months ago, after my break up with my first girlfriend.  We had been together for thirteen months before we mutually ended it.  I had never imagined that someone I love and someone who says she loves me back could break my heart over and over.  Then, I realized that the relationship meant more to me than it did to the other person.  This moment of realization was when I felt most like an adult.

            My philosophy in life is to learn from the things that I do and from the things that get done to me.  It hurt like hell to break up, but it doesn’t anymore.  That’s because, as an adult, I can look back on the situation and see it from a different perspective.  It only hurt before I gained this perspective, because I was na´ve.  But I appreciate this hurt because it taught me something about relationships and priorities.  Losing her, I gained so much more.  Since the little wake-up call, I’ve more than gained the sight of truth.  That’s a very good thing!

           

 

Mangini 2

            I believe it is okay to be na´ve.  It is part of reaching maturity, and it seems to be the best way to really discover things and gain experience.  When a person is na´ve, he/she can reach maturity while learning from the experiences encountered under this condition—the experiences you can have only while being naive.  Naivety sets someone up to get hurt, which in turn sets them up for the learning experience.  This ultimately leads them to gain an understanding of who they are as an individual, what they are capable of, and what they believe in.  And while they grow up, that is constantly changing.  But eventually, everyone settles and comes to a decision on who they want to be.

            Looking back, I can say with certainty that choosing Steph (my first girlfriend) was a mistake.  A very big mistake.  But I don’t regret it because there are two kinds of mistakes:  the ones one can benefit from—and—the ones that one makes over and over again.  Steph was a good kind of mistake because now I’m a better, more complete person from having been with her.  I’ve gained an adult understanding of a real life situation, and I am capable of sharing that with others if need be.  I try to limit making repetitious mistakes, like if I would buy something I don’t really need.  Why spend the money on something I’m not going to use or something that I can do just fine without?  These kinds of mistakes are bad choices that can add up to worse situations if precautious action is not taken.  It has to start with the choice.  From there, the choice can lead in many different directions and to many good or bad situations.

            While I felt like an adult after the break up, there was still some natural naivety left in me; another girl broke my heart.  The good thing is that this time, with my “adult-mindset,” it didn’t hurt as much, and I saw it for what it really was—another stepping stone.  That’s what being an adult is really about:  Truth—seeing things for what they really are.  Children lack this trait. 

 

Mangini 3

            As a child, a person might envision Santa Claus as a real existing person, whereas adults know that he is merely fictitious.  Even grown men may fail to make this transition into truth.  A lot of men selectively view women as only sex objects.  The adult-minded male, however, reveres women with a certain level of respect for their entire identity, not just their sexual attractiveness.

New things happen to me everyday that make me feel like an adult.  With each day that comes, I am more and more capable of wisely handling these situations because of the practice and experience that has been gained through my becoming an adult.  However, back at the beginning of the end of innocence, I struggled to understand the transition.  The irony is that I didn’t really understand it until I stopped trying to and just accepted it.  I never really understood the relationship break up until I had finally accepted that it was over.  And at that moment, I knew I was becoming an adult.