LET ME BE FRANK: On Growing Up

I am writing this on my 21st birthday, a day that most consider one of the most significant age milestones. I spent the morning at the DMV, by myself, shuffling through my identification, bank statements and other legal documents. As I sat in the chair, waiting to hear my number called, I watched as a young guy sat with his mom, preparing to take his driving test. It struck me that this was me and my own mother not too many years ago, but it also feels like an entire lifetime ago.

The past several years have been some of the most challenging and joyful times of my life, as I have been thrust into adulthood, a world full of bills and job interviews and making my own doctor’s appointments.

Life moves fast. We have found ourselves immersed in a narrative of constant development and change, and it is when we embrace this change that we find so much purpose.

One of my favorite writers, Donald Miller, said this: “I feel written. My skin feels written, and my desires feel written. It feels literary sometimes, doesn’t it, as if we’re characters in books.”

Every great story has one thing in common: conflict and struggle, leading to remarkable character development. If we can see our lives as stories, as an epic poem where every tear and every laugh work to create a more dynamic character, we can find joy in every tragedy and meaning in the most mundane.

“How brightly a better story shines. How easily the world looks to it in wonder. How grateful we are to hear these stories, and how happy it makes us to repeat them,” Miller wrote.

Don’t believe the lie that life is meaningless. Life doesn’t stop, and neither should you. Let’s live out good stories.

Franklin Norton can be contacted at [email protected]