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Mature is an adjective meaning complete in natural growth or development. In society, it’s assumed that everyone should reach maturity at the age of eighteen. Though it has become a social standard, what does it truly mean? If each individual is unique with their own life path, why do we expect maturity in a certain form or timeframe?

To me, natural growth encompasses all aspects: physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual. All aspects are developed with experience and are required at different stages in a person’s life. What I require physically today may be needed by you in ten years and necessary for my neighbor next year. What is useful for you today is useful to me in five years and useful for your relative in a week. Though these examples are fictional, they were proven correct in my life. I recall my parents advising me from their past and my boyfriend advising me, because he just realized it, and I would shrug it off. Then years or months down the line, I’d suddenly be hit with realization and run back to them to have them point out that that was what they were trying to tell me. I felt dumb when they pointed this out and came to recognize that everyone realizes when they need to, and that all advice gathered is useful for when it’s time.

Make maturity an individual growth goal and don’t be bothered by the progress you see others achieving. Concentrate on getting to know who you are, and your growth will lead you to success. Embrace who you are, enjoy the experiences intended for you and travel at your pace to reach your full potential. We all start the journey at birth and have a lifetime to shape our experiences into who we’re meant to be. Happy journeying, everyone!