Kate Porteous

See below for a link to Kate’s audio file.

Kate+Porteous

Growing Young

“Kate, you are growing so old. I remember when you were walking around in my tennis shoes as a baby, and now you are running on your own with me today,” mentioned my dad. I have always disliked the concept of “growing old.” However, when one asks a young child about what they are most excited about, they usually reply with, “I am most excited to be older.” What I think the child is actually referring to is growing older but still remaining relatively young. One is never truly excited to actually be old and stiff like their grandparents. After all, our grandparents always talk about how much they miss being young, when they had more energy and moved around better. 

So why do we say that we want to grow old, rather than grow young? Well, maybe because the child is hoping to be old enough to have a good job and family, but not to be stormed with all of the troubles of being elderly. As far back as kindergarten, my dream was to grow older, have some kind of wild job like a singer or actress, marry a sweet husband, and babies of my own. However, as I have grown older, I realize how young I will still be by the time I fulfill those dreams; “besides the singer/actress part of course.” This makes me wonder if I ever pictured myself in all of the stages that will occur before I get married and have children.

My grandmother has always told me, “Enjoy every minute of life and do not rush it. Life is short and if you always rush, you will miss out on the best parts.” As I come to the close of my first semester of senior year, I have really tried to slow everything down. By following her advice, I still manage to stay busy with school, sports, a job, and my social life, but I try to enjoy every minute, including the hard ones. When I was little, I never pictured how I would be as a senior. Would I be a good student, popular, pretty, or kind? Thinking back on past memories, I just skipped to the growing older part of my life. 

As I have now come to the realization that I still have a long way to go until what “Younger Kate” pictured would come to pass, I have taken a step back and really tried to work on being all of the things that I mentioned above. The truth is that we never are guaranteed the next day of our lives, and rushing or hoping for something in the near future is great, but not at the cost of what is happening in the present. Coach Jeremy Satcher mentioned, “We need to trust the process,” at the prayer breakfast last week. In order to reach that next step in life, we must treat every moment as an opportunity and a gift to strive for greatness.

In conclusion, as I sit here at my desk, tears streaming down my face, I want to remind people of all ages to live like you are experiencing your last day. I never fully imagined the girl that I would be today, but I am very proud of how far I have come. Without having any detailed expectations of who that girl would be, I have made it to this point in the journey and am happy to have arrived. Focusing on taking the necessary steps forward towards your future, is the key to successfully growing old. Therefore, I would like to urge anyone who reads these words to picture yourself tomorrow, next week, next month, or in a year. If the path you follow leads to a positive outcome in the future, then you have mastered “Growing Young.” 

Please click on the arrow below to hear Kate’s Senior Reading.