Growing Up Is Overrated

I confess that the older I get, the younger I feel and sometimes that is confusing to other adults. Most people my age (such as my friends) feel the need to settle down … buy a house, have a kid or two, leave their careers on hold for awhile to raise those kids. And yet here I am, hovering closer and closer to age thirty, but feeling more and more like a teenager than I did when I actually was a teenager. Don’t get me wrong … I have the wisdom, maturity, and confidence of a real adult … I just tend to gravitate to younger interests. A precious former student once gave a speech about me in which she said, “Mrs. Dallas is just a big kid trapped in an adult’s body.” At the time I laughed sheepishly, but inwardly I cringed, wondering what the other adults around me thought of her statement.

In all honesty, she was right about me. Any casual observer could see that my life is full of
“teenage endeavors”…
midnight book release parties for popular YA novels, Facebook and MySpace conversations, freakishly loud hair color and black nails, school dances, Guitar Hero, Friday night football, unlimited text messaging, iPods, iPhones, and Mac computers, my own YouTube channel, summer youth camp, spring break trips, mission trips, youth conferences, concerts, homemade t-shirts, Your Mom jokes, Jonas Brothers sing-alongs … the list goes on and on.

I’ve fretted over, theorized, analyzed, and evaluated all the reasons why I still am not quite at the same place in life as the rest of my friends. Why do I not have the typical “baby fever” that most women my age experience? Why do I not desire to just stay in my home and focus on being the best wife and mother that I can? Here are my theories:

1. I am happily married to a man with the same problem as me — he’s kind of a twelve-year-old
trapped in a man’s body, too. So, even though we’ve been married five and a half years now, we’re kind of growing up together in some respects. Besides, we love hanging together and since we both share the same passion for Teenage World, it’s never dull in our house. We also both cherish personal growth and have so many things we want to accomplish, or at least try out in life before we reach “P-Status” (Parent).

2. We’re Youth Ministers — when your primary social spot is your church’s youth group, you
have no choice but to become an expert on all things pop teenage culture. We know the clothes, the music, the jokes, the emotional pitfalls, the hang out spots. Really, how can you adequately reach a group of people if you don’t first understand their world? Somehow, we’ve become honorary members of this world … it’s like we’ve been given special access passes, despite our adult-ness.

3. I teach middle school, for crying out loud. That kind of ruins any chance I might have had at being a normal, functioning adult. Everyday I get to hang with these wonderfully bright, colorful, and creative young adolescents and the energy level never drops below CRAZY. I love my job … and as much as it drains me, it also inspires me to be better, to try harder, and to achieve more. I laugh with my students. I listen to them. I teach them (and sometimes they teach me). I can’t take myself too seriously in such an environment or I’d be miserable. So that whole “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” expression? Yeah, that’s middle school life for me.

So, was it really possible for me to ever grow up given the choices of career I’ve made in my life? I just assume it will take me growing very TIRED of the constant energy and emotional drainage of living at this level … either way, I’m in it as long as I’m good at it and God continues to give me a passion for it.

That being said, welcome to Krissi’s Konfessions … I’ve been blogging for years on Xanga, initially as just another way to keep in touch with the students in my life.
But, this blog is really for the purpose of keeping me motivated as I write and try to seek out what I believe is the next phase of my career … becoming an author. I have written a complete novel. (What genre? Young Adult fiction, OF COURSE. You did just read all of the above, right?) And I am currently seeking an agent. It’s a long, hard process, but I’m plunging ahead no matter what. I figure that at some point, persistence must pay off (that’s how Sam got me to marry him, after all). In the meantime, I keep revising and perfecting every little thing that I can and then working on the book’s sequel. But, more to come on that in later posts …

Alas, I must away …

Looking Back As I Look Ahead
Looking Back As I Look Ahead

Comments to “Growing Up Is Overrated”

  1. Mrs. Dallas STAY THE SAME WAY YOU ARE. Your attitude and just the way you say things make me think about alot of situations in life. I am very proud of you and hope you have a great life with everyone around you.——— Eddie Stanley

  2. I totally think growing up is overrated.

  3. Growing up is overrated but Mitchel says no cause he likes to impress the ladies (mostly Bethany) LOL and your the only teacher I see that wheres bell bottom jeans

  4. Okay Mrs. D I agree, you are a teenage stuck in an adults body, but you also have a better understanding about what’s going on and how we’re feeling (it’s this wierd sixt sense that you have) and thats wat i love about you mrs.d. your SPECTACULAR (do i get snaps for that?) in everything you do, the way that you teach us, talk to us, mess with us, insult (you know like a burn) us, and just connect with us all arround. i’ve never opened up to a teacher the way i have you, you’re like an older sister to me and most of cross curricular students, and the best part is you know me better than anyone else i know, when i said you had an electrical cord up your butt, you knew auto matically i was joking. (you cant tell that to most teachers.) so mrs.d i’d have to say you’re the smartest teenager i’ve ever met!!! yor favoritest student, Lindsey

  5. Hey Mrs. D!
    I love your new blog! I am so glad that I moved back to Springtown this year; having you for a teacher is a wonderful experience! I am still getting to know you, and I will have to say that you ARE a teenager stuck in an adults body…It’s not a bad thing. 🙂
    You are a very creative teacher, and I love the fact that you don’t JUST teach. You interact with all of us and make us feel welcome in your classroom. We always learn and strive for our best in your class, and we also have fun and say some pretty weird (fascinating at the moment) things. I can’t wait ’till you get that perfect agent and your book is published. I will most definetely buy it!!
    best of luck! 🙂
    love ya Mrs. D; you’re the best!!
    -Kaitlyn Barry

  6. Your blogs are so inspiring. Without all the characteristics you just described in yourself, you wouldn’t be YOU. I was so blessed to have you as a teacher.

    I believe that God is still writing your lifestory just like he is writing everyone elses and I know he has a plan for you as far as the parenthood thing goes. I don’t suppose I have much to say on this subject being as I am still a teenager. I just know that God has a plan.

    As for the novel….I am so excited and I can’t wait to read it! 🙂

    Happy New Year and May God continue to bless you! Love, love.


  7. I loved this post! I too feel like being a high school teacher keeps me young and in touch with the teenage world. Although, I am now a member of the ‘mom club’ I do not feel like any of my other titles (teacher, sister, friend, wife, etc) are any less important to me. Keep me posted on your book, I would love to read it and buy a few copies for my classroom! 🙂

  8. Hey Krissi! I look forward to reading more about yours and Sammy’s lives here on your blog. I’d love to read your novel once you get it published—how exciting! And don’t feel pressured to do anything you guys aren’t ready for…we know how that goes.

    Looking forward to being one of your “followers” on your blog! Mine is if you want to visit! 🙂

  9. You know what I think is cool about your “teen girl at heart” quality? One, it’s necessary for your ministry both at school and at work; it’s a calling. Who knows for exactly how long? Maybe two more years, maybe ten; maybe forever.

    Two: You provide an example of what a young woman can be when she grows up to be twenty-somthing and almost thirty, especially for these girls from smalltownsville, and especially the ones in church — that being married and having babies, while potentially wonderful, is not the definition of an adult, and more pointedly, a woman.

    The social pressure from our Christian sub-culture, specifically here in the South, is especially high. More ridgedly, and with heavier weight do we adhere to this marriage (and family) = adulthood definition. It’s highly ironic because Christ came and we no longer propogate God’s redemptive plan through a nation (which requires bearing and raising children), but through sharing Christ himself as Holy Spirit-indwelt individuals who come together in Holy Spirit-indwelt Church. Christ came and abolished the hierarchies established in the Jewish and surrounding cultures.

    Okay, sorry about the soapbox; what I want to say is perhaps you’re right to judge “grown up” status less as being settled in one location and tied down to job/family commitments and more as gaining an ever-more settled and established character, anchored in wisdom and truth.

    I love you. Welcome to the Blogisphere. And congratulations on the completion of your first novel!! I can’t wait to see where it takes you.

  10. You are so cute and Krissi, you are so unique in your very own way and is one the things I love about you most! Babies will come one day, but if you are so happy doing what your doing, then there is no reason to do something else! I’m so happy you are blogging now. Hopefully I will get back with the blogging program soon, but it’s pretty tough trying to move into a new house with 2 babies wanting and needing my attention all day! I miss you more than you know and think of you often.

  11. Yay!!

    First, welcome to the blog world. 🙂

    Second, when and where can I get my hands on a copy of your manuscript? {BTW, my sister just landed an agent… Stephanie Myers’ agent to be specific… have you thought along the lines of self-publishing with them? Jessie is on Facebook if you want more info.}

    And third, Krissi, I love the fact that you don’t have “baby fever”… it makes you, you. 🙂

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