Aah! those early teen, post-teen, pre-adult, young adulthood years… How soon we forget.
I was recently asked, “What’s the most trouble you’ve been in?” Within a few minutes of recollecting my memory, I’d have to say that the most trouble I’ve been in involved buying a car at around age 21 that I undoubtedly could not afford. I thought (using too little brain cells) that I could afford the car, but I really couldn’t.
My spanking brand new candy apple red, manual transmission, sporty little Prelude Si sat in the parking lot of the dealership, with my name written all over it. Honest! I saw my name on it- envisioned my cute little body, leaning to the side with my braided hair extensions blowing in the wind. The sales representative saw a name too! It said s-u-c-k-e-r! I was blinded by my stupidity, ignorance, and instant need for gratification to see the reality of the situation.
Through outrageous and absurd concessions, I purchased the car. Almost instantaneous my troubles began. I got behind in my bills, robbed Peter to pay Paul, and once physically threatened a bill collector who hinted that he would stop by my apartment to collect a payment. After repossession, then a recovery, and more struggles, I sold the car… ironically to a car dealership. No, I didn’t buy another car. I sold the car about an hour away from home. I had no idea as to how I was going to get home- I remember thinking, “it’s not like I’m going to spend the rest of my life in Cherry Hill; I’ll eventually get home.” I was happy and relieved because I sold the car and managed to walk away with a little check in my hand.
Over time, I learned from my mistake and I recovered from the disaster. But recalling this stressful and chaotic time in my life reminded me of the lessons that I’ve learned.
1. All youth (even adults) are capable of making poor choices that can lead to some kind of trouble – I will always be there for my children
2. When our kids fall to error, it doesn’t mean that the world has come to an end. It just means that we help them up, dust them off, affirm that they can learn from the mistake, don’t repeat the same mistake, and continue to move forward
3. The opportunities to grow spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually are often masked as nuisances
4. Don’t forget to laugh
5. Remember when… What’s the most trouble you’ve been in?