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  • Writer's pictureGbemi Orundami

Grew Up Fast

I've always said I grew up too fast. I've done everything that was expected of me and then some. I graduated high school summa cum laude as a dual athlete, I got a full-ride athletic scholarship that covered undergrad. I was accepted into the nursing program and graduated the nursing program with honors. I worked for the top hospital system in the state by age 22. I was engaged and married at the age of 23 and became a homeowner at 24. I became pregnant at 24 and a mother at 25. A lot of life has happened to me in the years post-undergrad. On the outside, looking in, someone could say that only good things have happened, and mainly all of these things are great things; however, a lot of the time I feel I grew up too fast. Sometimes I find myself longing for the times when the most stressful thing I had to think about was "running fast and turning left."

I wouldn't change any of these things at all: I love my husband, I love our son, I love our home and the life we have built for ourselves thus far, but I was not prepared for the enormous responsibilities, the unlearning, the identity crises or as I like to refer to all these things as, the "quarter-life crisis" that I have been faced with. Amid all these good things, I found myself discontent with the career that I have chosen. I found myself trying to find myself and navigate through my identity as a daughter, a wife, a mother, a sister, and a friend. I realize that in my early adulthood, I have carried a lot of baggage and undealt trauma from my childhood that manifested into early adulthood.

My sister said something so simple yet so profound: "you don't know how to let your village help you." And she is absolutely right. One of the things I have come to understand in my adulthood is that vulnerability is a strength and not a weakness. As someone who is so type A and identifies as an independent (prideful) person, I have realized that it is impossible to do life, especially this Christian life, without reliance upon God and upon my "village."

Recently I have come face to face with grief and death. As I am learning how to live in this grief, I can say one of the greatest blessings I have come to realize is the importance of my community. My village has covered us in prayers that have not gone unnoticed or unfelt throughout this season of sorrow. Our village has shown up in practical and spiritual ways, and our village has shown love, concern, and support for my family. I genuinely believe the only reason I have been able to function these past few weeks is because of the answered prayers prayed on our behalf. Community is essential because in moments when you cannot even pray for yourself, someone is pleading with God on your behalf. The outpouring of love and support has been overwhelming. I thank God that he has allowed me to see firsthand the power of vulnerability. This would have been a completely different story if I had not decided to share our struggles and tried to manage this on my own, but God has given us a family who truly loves and supports us. As I navigate each different season of life, it is a comfort to know that we have people in our corner who genuinely care for us.

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