I’ve been often considered as a grown ass kid. People are always saying I act like a child, that occasionally I give off immature characteristics. This counteracts with my own mature persona. Personally, I believe everyone has a little immaturity in them, it really depends on people’s threshold’s for maturity in which they describe other’s actions as mature or not.
With that being said I will admit that at times I’ve acted immature in the past. At one time I would hate to admit it with my perfectionist attitude, desiring to be righteous in every manner. However, I do know I can be a “child” at times. Even though that isn’t always a bad thing, it’s still a stench I don’t want lingering on my body as time progresses. The bad pieces of my childish behavior at least.
In this long journey chasing maturity and adulthood, I’ve come across moments where I’ve had to to actually Grow up, and become the man I wish to be. I’m going to tell a story about one of those said moments.
It was year three in college on a typical Sunday morning. I’m sitting in the dining hall with my friends that would later become some of my brothers, and one of them pulls me to the side to talk to me in secrecy.
Immediately I had thought I did something embarrassing at the party the night before. That was me, always embarrassing myself, being the butt of the joke, I still am to this day, but not as much as I was before. Luckily, this wan’t one of those times. instead, he wanted to invite me to somewhere, The relief on my face when I found out I wasn’t being called out for my own stupidity was gratifying, but it immediately changed into a serious tone
He asked me to come to a meeting in secrecy. He didn’t whisper it, but he was smooth enough to talk to me without others hearing. He asked me if I was free Friday to come to a meeting. Me, eager and curious immediately responded with a yes, but I was subtle with it. Subconsciously I understood the tone in his voice and tried to sound like I understood what was going on. I had no Idea what I was in store for. I had to keep it a secrete and not tell anyone where I was going, I just needed to show up by myself on Friday. And So I did.
Well, not necessarily by myself, I had met some of my friends who were going to the same place, and we walked into the meeting together. When I walked into the meeting I had no Idea of the different world I was walking into, and it went directly over my head. It was a casual Friday, I was in a room filled with people I hang out with all the time. I didn’t notice the completely different space I was in or the environment the rest of the room was attempting to convey to me. At this point, I would say I was still a little off the wall and trying to find myself, but in this room, at this time, I went from a boy to a young man.
As time was going by the room started to get more serious, the jokes started to dwindle or become more exclusive and as my non funny self attempted to chime in I was instantly reminded of the fact that this was my first time at this particular meeting. After about the third time around I finally came to and realized the consequence of the situation in front of me. I got quiet, and noticed I was in a room filled with conscious black men on a predominately white institution. As I began to shut up and listen, I realized this was no ordinary meeting. I began to witness the gentlemen talking about serious issues regarding the campus and the black community and their efforts to fix the underlining problems.
I listened as the gentlemen checked on each other’s academic standing, as well as their efforts to become more involved in the overall campus community. And It began to hit me, I was in way over my head, but I was interested, I was learning. I began to understand why there was so much secrecy to this meeting. It wasn’t for everyone to be a part of. There was a conscious effort to find ways to help black and brown students thrive on a campus that didn’t care for their well being or comfort. At that moment, I knew I belonged here.
Up until this point, I was wandering attempting to find my place, like a bird flying around looking for a place to ground. Luckily for me, gravity threw me into this room. Without hesitation I sat there, and listened, I chimed in about once or twice, but for the most part I took everything in. I was being engulfed into a secret club of black men who were trying were conscious, goal oriented, and trying to make their campus better, and in turn making their world better.
Side note, a college campus is a microcosm of the world. It’s a large think tank brimming with people from all different walks of life, learning about each other. Everyone is working towards their future and who they will be in the real world. In the real world, although at time secluded, everyone is at times doing the same.
back to the story-
I was in awe, mainly because out of all the black conscious men on that campus they chose me, and they new I wasn’t fully there. I was humbled, and appreciative of the moment, and I was determined to not squander it. It was in this moment that I new I had to grow up and be a better person. I began taking initiative on my campus with the backing and confidence of these men. I became a humanitarian, and began believing in myself. Taking the petite steps towards fully realizing who I am and what I wish to become.
It was a tonic that permanently propelled me to identifying my greatness. Since then I now have two collegiate degrees, aspirations of acquiring a doctorate, won a myriad of awards for humanitarian work, fully realized my passion for writing, journalism and story telling, and am in the process of publishing my first book.
Have you ever experienced a moment in time where the world flips upside down and you comprehend that it’s time to grow up? That’s what it felt. I would say that becoming a part of that meeting ignited the spark in my belly and transformed it into a fire. I haven’t grown up completely, but I have changed dramatically from that interaction with those men.
What was your experience like when you realized it was time to change your maturity level?
Did you ever have an experience like this?