Maturity means acting in a manner fit for one’s age. I am mature…when it suits me. I am fifteen years old, but I happen to be smaller than many people my age, and I sometimes use my short stature to portray the persona of one who is young and helpless. I do this to shirk responsibility, particularly when it comes to work. If I act as though I am not capable of accomplishing a job that I don’t want to do, it lowers people’s expectations of my abilities, and I can get out of doing it.

I’m not always like this, however. When I’m around someone I want to impress, I act as old as I can. I also act mature if I want an “adult privilege,” like a new phone.

This creates an obvious problem. How can anyone know how to treat me if half the time I act like I’m ten and the other half I act like I’m older than fifteen? The end result is that I am treated as though I am younger than I am even when it doesn’t benefit me, and I don’t always know what to expect of myself.

I will benefit most from being mature at all times. Everyone in my path will know my real abilities and treat me accordingly (not just my parents and the people closest to me). I won’t have the pressure of putting on a persona. The hardest part is answering the question, “When am I going start?”

I will start now by not pretending that I am not capable and by pushing back when I am treated at a level below my age. I am fifteen. I am smart, and I am capable. I am Trace, and I will no longer act or allow myself to be treated as anything less than what I truly am. And with that, I will mature.

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