The Great Urban Dictionary defines “grown” as “being able to live on your own not with your momma or depending on anyone else to wash your shitty draws...Treating women/men with respect and not on f*ck sh*t.” The author behind this definition is onto something but must have been hella angry at someone who they assumed had shitty underpants. We’ll attempt to draw our own definition for “grown” or “being grown.”
#MeAsMeDefinitions: 1. Being an adult over the age of 21 2. The act of developing mentally, spiritually and emotionally into a specimen that is fit to dwell responsibly and respectfully in a community of other grown people Why 21? Because let’s face it, we be wilding between the ages of 18 and 22. Around the age of 21, something in your brain clicks and you realise that yes, your life is VERY much in your hands and you can’t keep living on the edge. But to truly be grown, there are certain things, habits, mindsets we really need to drop: Showing up at someone’s place without prior notice.
Hiding from uninvited guests like…
These are real bad manners by the way. We have phones. We have the internet. We have apps for communication. But here you are strolling into someone’s compound, swinging your arms. Yes, you were in the area. But you still could have called. Showing up at people’s house fwaa is just disrespectful. What if they aren’t home? What if they are struggling with a fussy baby? What if they are busy with work? What if they are rolling in the sheets with a new “friend”? Abeg! Always call first. And not when you’re at the gate. Thinking the world revolves around you.
There’s two parts to this. One: When we were kids, our parents, guardians and other adults in our lives did their best to make our lives comfortable for us. Sometimes that will confuse you and make you think everything in existence is about you. I’m sorry to inform you. Everyone has their own sh*t going on. Someone didn’t pick up your phone call. No, they aren’t ignoring you. Your friend couldn’t lend you money when you needed it the most. No, they don’t hate you. Someone whose home you dropped into just fwaa told you they couldn’t host you and asked you to leave. No, they don’t think your company is wack. Everyone in this world has a million other things they are going through. They aren’t sitting around waiting for your phone call, your visit, your call for help. Grown people have grown sh*t to do. They are trying to complete multiple courses, have clients to serve, babies and partners to tend to, emotions to deal with…stuff. Calling your friends fake for not showing up every time you beckon? Come on! Even good people have bad days. We’re dealing with stuff too. I said there were two parts to this one. So secondly, while on the subject of the world not revolving around you, stop asking intrusive questions:
Why aren’t you dating?
When are you getting engaged?
When are you getting married?
When are you having your first child?
When are you having your second child?
When are you buying a house?
Do you really need to know? Do you really care? Or do you just want lugambo? Or are you poking your nose into business you can’t even finance?
Not missing anything because of FOMO. The “Fear of Missing Out” is a problem that should be reserved for anyone in their early 20s, who have had so few experiences in life that they assume there will be nothing that matches or tops it. There will be more parties. There will be more getaways. There will always be an opportunity for enjoyment. The biggest problem with FOMO is that we sometimes go too far to the point of abandoning our own boundaries, going into debt. You should be planning for retirement, a baby fund, passive income streams or simply time to rest. Thinking success is overnight.
You suddenly learn that someone on Instagram just landed a big endorsement deal because they post funny videos or that an artist is living comfortably off selling their pieces or that a photographer is being flown around the world to take pictures. Just because you only learnt about their big break, doesn’t mean they are an overnight success. Hours of sacrifice, possible rejection, trial and error and ultimately growth go into achieving big things. The content creator had to learn how to make great videos, write funny jokes, edit those videos and jokes and so much more. The artist had to learn how to draw or paint, how to enhance their own style. The photographer had to learn a lot about light, colour, equipment, editing and so much more technical stuff. Commit to your craft. Keep fighting. PS. Pyramid schemes ARE NOT it. Skipping out on personal grooming.
It’s sad that this even has to be added to the list. But please, take care of your body. There’s no reason for you to be out in these streets ashy AF or smelling like you’ve been wearing the same shirt for the 3rd day in a row. Ah, who grew you! Let’s not get into the, “some people don’t have access to clean water or soap”, “some people can’t physically take care of themselves.” The people for whom this message applies know themselves. And we also know them because they left a stench in de air. Please! Moisturise your skin. Wash your hands and under your nails. Wash your hands after using the loo. Use deodorant. Brush your tongue as well as your teeth. When you bathe, scrub your body. Wash your nyash. Wash your clothes. Wash your socks. Kampala is too hot and dusty please, wash your clothes. Wash your bed sheets and pillowcases. Clean your space. Being willfully ignorant.
We have the internet. Books are accessible even online. Google is your friend. Learn and keep learning. As you learn and gain knowledge, don’t be one of those people who treats people who are still learning and ask questions like they are less than. And one more thing, you transform into different versions of yourself when you gain more knowledge. But this applies to other people too. The Nambi you knew in 2017 might not be the Nambi you meet in 2021. Go slow on putting people in boxes. Not embracing discomfort.
Social Media Motivational speakers (with all their biases) will have you thinking that everything that makes you feel challenged, uncomfortable or distorts your way of thinking is always bad. They’ll label so many things as toxic. Eh! Sometimes discomfort is just the thing you need to push you out of your comfort zone and make you a better person. Using “I’m just being honest” to be a trash person.
We all know someone like this *side-eye* All that needs to be said about this:
Ephesians 4:15 “…instead, speak the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is Christ…”
If you choose to be a trash person who uses “I’m just being honest” to hurt other people’s feelings, just own it the fact that you’re being trash. Don’t hide behind “I’m just being honest.”
Most times, these people can dish it but can’t take it. When the tables are turned on them, they get shocked. BUT…it doesn’t matter whether or not you can take cruelty when it’s targeted at you, being cruel is being cruel. PERIODT!
We are tired!
Using “this is who I am, get used to it” to be a trash person.
We all have the capacity to grow, to evolve and be better. If everyone on earth used this excuse to be trash, the woe onto us all. If you need to watch some YouTube videos on how to be a better person, to get mentored by someone who is known to be kind, to go to therapy to find out what the root cause of your sour attitude is, do it. Do whatever you can. Because “this is who I am, get used to it” is lazy, counterproductive and will likely have you wondering where all the good people in your life scattered off to. Not being self-sufficient. Being grown is about acting grown too. That means learning how to take care of yourself and your space. Whether you have money to spare on these tasks or not, you should be able to: Do your own laundry Make your own meals. It doesn’t even have to be gourmet, Food Channel grade. But knowing how to make some healthy meals for yourself is necessary, Clean your own home or space. If you are able-bodied, and have the privilege that BONUS: Thinking life ends at 30. Calm down Gen-Z. Yes, turning 30 is scary. But it’s only because the media has made such a fuss about it. The same way they made a fuss over turning 16. Life goes on beyond the age of 30 and 40 and 50. The only important thing to consider are:
Are you staying healthy and fit?
What kind of life are you living and building?
What lessons are you implementing from past mistakes?
It’s not that serious. We all grow old. It simply means you have more time and more life to live.
Now go out into the world and be GROWN.