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Maturi-Tea (ma·tu·ri·ty)

In my late teens and early twenties, I remember breaking up with Bugga-boo every five minutes and twenty seconds. Argh! Looking back, that was so silly and super annoying. Why was I like that?

I suppose it had much to do with emotional immaturity. Me, falling face forward into the status quo of "Reasons why women don't be makin' no sense!" First, I succumbed to a highly contagious disease that many women suffer from, known as the tomfoolery disorder. The most common symptoms are the words fine, nothing and whatever. When it wasn't that, then I caught a bout of good ole-fashioned catty-iitis―where symptoms resulted in slamming down phones and flinging doors shut.

As if that wasn't bad enough, I, too, caught the sourpuss bug, which resulted in the incessant need to keep bringing up the past. I mean, rehashing "once upon a time's" more furious than a volcano erupting. (Talk about hell hath no fury...) All of it culminating into an era of what I refer to as the rise of the "Petty Crockers." These days, we don't bother to go through all that; we use the handy dandy block and delete.

Funny how that works, though. I remember talking to this fella one time who told me a mere conversation could solve anything. Needless to say, my 'I'm impressed' bubble burst with a loud 'pop' cause; homie must have missed the practical on how to practise what you preach. Ah, well, it was 'another one bites the dust' for me.

So here's the thing, it never feels good being on the rough side of anything. Outside of societal pressures, anytime something doesn't work out the way we expect, it sucks to be the individual that experiences it. There were times in life that I wanted to kick rocks, cry, scream, throw things; I mean, have an all-out tantrum. That's when I realized maturity is much ado about your attitude. And let me just say, back in the day, I might as well had been named Attitude-A-Resha! #rottentothecore

Maturity has almost everything to do with your reaction to what happens rather than what actually happened. And I say 'almost' because oftentimes, we think our reactions only refer to outward behaviour. But I'm more concerned about what happens in our hearts, the place that no one sees. That's where real maturity lives. Right up there with your attitude is acceptance. That seemingly small and insignificant factor can be the difference between you moving on or repeating a grade level.

So let's discuss the elephant in the room. Some folks often think that when you're of a certain age and single.....well, "There MUST be something wrong with her!!!" While this could be true, why can't it just be perfectly normal that 'her' life is not supposed to look like the norm?

In the proverbial sense, let's suppose 'wrong' is not a defect, but perhaps she's not yet finished developing. After all, eating green (unripe) fruit ain't for everyone. While some people like it, it's an acquired taste for others. Maybe what's wrong is that she hasn't matured to her complete state of being, meaning she's just not in season at the moment.

In The Bahamas, we have what is called grouper season. Once the season is closed, that means it's illegal to land, purchase or sell the Nassau grouper. This is done to allow the fish to procreate and the ones that are young to mature. This closure is also important to maintain the longevity of the species. Imagine all the things you could have avoided had you only given your emotions time to heal. Just think of how you would not have popped off at homeboy had you woosah-ed. Whew chall! #Godsgraceandmercy

Let's look at maturity from a financial standpoint. When your investment, such as a savings policy or pension plan, reaches maturity, the company stops taking your money and pays you all your money back, in addition to the interest earned. Now that's the kind of growth I can get down with―forget these ole buns and thighs. However, if you are not financially responsible, you'll blow it all in a fraction of the time it took you to acquire it. And at the end of the day have nothing to show for it.

We find a great example in the story of the prodigal son (See Luke 15:11-32). Yea, he got his inheritance beforehand, and man, I may even be lowkey jealous cause he was the poster child for turnt! But had he been matured to the place, that having that kind of money required, he would have never found himself in the pigsty. He would have recognized which friends were only there to use him; he would have known to invest and where not to spend. But he, just like many of us, realized after experiencing this ghetto adulting world, SMT, if only we had listened to our parents.

So, it all made me wonder, 'Is it that many of us don't have what we want because we have yet to mature in the areas needed to maintain it?' I'll tell ya, getting the car may have been easy, but I promise you ain't everyone counted the cost of maintenance. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that if I'd gotten most of the things I'd prayed for, I wouldn't have any of them now―simply because I had not fully matured to a place where I could manage the full return on those investments.

I hear you―cause I'm guilty of saying it too, "Well, why her and not me?" Let me just rest this memo here right quick, "So wherever jealousy and selfishness are uncovered, you will also find many troubles and every kind of meanness." (James 3:16 TPT) Or, in layman's terms, "Comparison is the thief of joy!" (Theodore Roosevelt).

If Saul weren't so distracted by the women dancing and singing, "Saul killed 1,000's but David 10,000's," he and his whole lineage would have maintained the Kingship. But since he let jealousy and disobedience get in the way, not only was his 3-sons killed one shot, but he died moments later by falling on his own sword.

Golly, his entire legacy wiped out, in less than 24-hours. If he were at all mature, it never would have phased him what David had going on. Get this; he was a whole king (A KING), jealous of a shepherd boy (no, like the dude who tends the sheep). (Just read all of 1 Samuel chapters 9-31) Now let that marinate.

You can't force ripe maturity. You can't put fruit in a dark place and expect that 2 days later, it will be good for consumption. You know what? I take that back; it can be done. But I'll say it like this instead, you shouldn't force ripe maturity.

FYI: Go through your required process! Don't opt for the quick fix. IT. AIN'T. WORTH. IT!

Think about it, because demand is overlapping supply, farmers have to ripen fruits and vegetables artificially―at rapid speeds. During this process, the chemicals they use break down the composition of vitamins and other micronutrients. At this point, what is even the benefit of eating healthy? There is hardly anything nutritional about it. Thus, we are plagued with unexplainable and untraceable illnesses. Translation: And I'll borrow these words from Prophet Tarrus Riley; "She's just another good girl gone bad!" #ifyouknowyouknow

Like actual fruit, to the observant eye, you can tell when a person is forced ripe. In fruits, you'll see that although it has an almost perfect uniformed skin colour, the stem is still green. As such, the fruit would also have lesser flavour and have shorter shelf-life. In people, it's evident when they can't handle conflict well and can be easily triggered. Translation: You'll be that woman that causes a man to want to live in the corner of a scorching rooftop (see Proverbs 21:9). Whew, chall, lemme stop throwing rocks from this glass house.

To reach full maturation, you need to cover five areas of growth, six for good measure:

  • Physical: (which is the most obvious) size, age, hand-eye coordination, how one moves (walking, running, biking), etc.

  • Emotional: the ability to demonstrate patience, kindness, and manage anger, etc.

  • Ethical: a sense of morals, the ability to be empathetic, etc.

  • Intellectual: book-smarts, learning appropriately for one's age, reasoning and understanding objectively etc.

  • Social: the ability to form friendships, to cooperate and share with others, etc.

  • Spiritually: you need the Holy Ghost. PeriodT!

Produce has something known as peak season. While you can find many of them year-round, they are at their optimal best if you get them at this prime time. In case you're wondering why the stars have not yet aligned or why God has not given you what you've been fasting, praying and seed sowing for, He's simply a good father who knows His child―and fam, you not ready yet! Listen, if you are objective and really analyze your life, something is being weighed in the balance and found wanting.

Yes, you're more talented, you're uber gifted, and you may even be better than the best. You know what, I'll even remind you for good measure, Honey, "You is Kind, You is Smart, You is Important.(The Help-2011) But if it all keeps coming back to you wondering, 'Why them and not me?' then you have a character issue. I told you, it all circles right back to your attitude.

Sometimes you just gatta be honest with yourself and say, "Hey, you, grow up, aye!" After all, “There are some questions that shouldn't be asked until a person is mature enough to appreciate the answers."Anne Bishop.

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