Reflected on Cicadas

A short while ago we were getting reports on these giant bugs who were last seen above ground 17 years ago. I didn’t notice them until this past weekend, when my husband identified their whirring buzzing to me. Now, I keep seeing these GIANT flying bugs EVERYWHERE.

Vaguely, I remember my mom showing me a clear amber exoskeleton in a beetle shape, and I realized that it must have been the last time these cicadas were around, in 1996!

Cicada-exoskeleton

If you want to be really grossed out here is the molting process:

My nerdly self was curious and decided to research more about these bugs. For 17 years they live underground in their nymphal form getting their nutrients from roots, then they emerge, molt, mate, and die after about two months! How crazy is that?!

I did the math today and I realized the next time that these bugs emerge above ground in !!!2030!!!!!,  I will be 43 years old. I daydreamed for a moment realizing what that would mean: Likely, we’d have kids, kids who would be in their early/late adolescence! Husband and I would be celebrating 21 years of marriage!! It is crazy to think about how life and myself could be different in that many years.

When I was a child/teen I eagerly awaited being an adult. You look forward to those days where you have freedom, you have privileges, etc. For me, I remember sitting in church pews staring at the middle aged ladies singing in the choir. I envied them. I felt like they’d arrived. In my teens my life was so open-ended. But them, they knew who their “soul mate” was. They understood themselves, knew who they were, they had “arrived.”

I’m 25 now, will be 26 by the end of the year, and I still don’t think that I feel like an “adult.” I’m guessing this means that in some ways I’ll never “feel” like an adult. At least if we are equating “perfection” and “arriving” on the same level as “adult.”

In contrast to these cicadas, we have a long larval life as well (approximately 18-20 years), but then we have 60 years of living as an adult. A wise woman brought this to my attention this past week, the idea that we have 20 years to grow and quickly develop, and the rest of our lives to get over it/work through it. We only have 20 years of “preparation” until we are to live out potentially 60 more years. And we wonder why adolescence is marked with such tumultuous feelings?

So I guess that means we should all be a little more patient with ourselves. It is going to take more than 5/6 years to begin to adapt as a “young adult.” It will take more than a few years to be a good wife. It will take more than 4 years to build a great marriage. Things take time.

I struggle with this because I worry if something isn’t “correct” now it won’t necessarily be correct later. However, I think the idea is to have a clear and good direction that you are traveling, staying on course so to speak, but knowing that the destination is decades in the making. A plant isn’t going to grow any faster by staring at it, and definitely not by pulling the stalk up with my fists. Instead, we have to balance the concept of daily active growth while knowing the harvest is eternal.

Think about it, in 17 years I’ll be able to reflect on the changes since the last cicadas graced us with their presence! See ya there! Yes, I’ll still be blogging when I’m 43 ;0).

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