Lately my age has been a topic of discussion. Or perhaps, I have noticed my age more over these past few weeks. Particularly at work, but in other settings also. I get teased a lot because I'm a "baby". People call me "sweetie" or "honey" a lot. I got asked tonight if I knew the cartoon Tom and Jerry. It just seems to come up a lot, the fact that I'm so young. And I kind of have to laugh at that a little....because I don't feel that young anymore.
I train volunteers to visit hospice patients. That's my job. These volunteers come from all ages. Youngest is 17, oldest is 87. I have to alter my training depending on the group I am speaking with. With the younger ones I joke more, provide more education, prep them for what they will see in a nursing home and teach them how to talk to patients and what not to do. With the older ones I ask them for examples from their personal life, dissect the losses they have had, and talk about the differences between a hospice patient and a nursing home resident. I. love. training. It is, hands down, my favorite part of the job. Honestly sometimes it can be a little emotionally draining, because I spend four to five hours talking about hospice, but I get these amazing glimpses into our volunteers lives and feel really quite privileged to know them and to hear their stories, and it gives me a chance to figure out what kind of patient to match them with. It's the most interesting part of my job and I absolutely love it.
Getting back to my original opening paragraph here, when I train the 19/20 year old "kids" (and yes, I call them kids), I can't help but feel a little nostalgic. Let me just tell you that 19 year old Megan would have never set foot in a hospice office to volunteer. So in some ways I am proud of them for making such a mature decision, and maybe even a little envious at their enthusiasm and energy and intuition. When I was 19, I was a little bit of a mess. I lost who I was, what I believed in and was barely hanging on.
If 19 year old Megan could see the Megan now she wouldn't believe it. I am simply NOT the same person that I was back then. I can say that proudly, because I wasn't headed in the right direction then. And we all make mistakes when we are 19, so I don't need to dwell on them. Rather, I'd like to just say that God certainly has placed the right people in my life to put me back on the right path. For the first time, maybe ever, I feel grown up. I still make plenty of mistakes and don't always get my to do list completed, but I feel stronger, more responsible, and more powerful. I don't really feel like "the baby" anymore, even though I am. I still have no idea what I want to be doing in life but I'm okay with that. I'm not having nervous breakdowns over it or making myself crazy over the things I cannot control. I am just living my life the best I can. And darn it, I'm going to be happy about it.
Growing up is weird. And that, my friends, is my closing statement for this random late night writing.