The Growing Process
When we’re little, we constantly talk about growing up.
We ask children what they want to be when they grow up. We speak of “growing up” like there is an end destination or an arrival point. That “growing up” means acquiring a certain list of characteristics or attributes. That “growing up” is something you can check off a list or hold within the palms of your hand.
Are there things that you do as an adult that you would not do as a child? Of course. You don’t need to hold someone’s hand when you walk across the street, and you do not need a parental warning on the media you consume, and, generally speaking, nobody tells you when to go to bed. You put yourself to bed because you know that you need sleep, just like you know that you need to feed and water yourself appropriately, too. If you have a job, you show up to do that job. If you have a confrontation at work, you generally don’t solve it by throwing a temper tantrum.
Nobody tells you to do these things as an adult — you do them because of the lessons you learned when you were a kid.
But aside from the obvious, growing is still a process — and I hope you give yourself the space to grow.
Maybe your growth looks like leaning into better health habits. Maybe you realize that you should curb your sugar intake, and drink more water, and have less meat in your diet. Perhaps you recognize that you need to move your body more, not to lose weight, but to keep your muscles limber and your mind sharp. Maybe you see that movement is the thing that grounds you — and you need to feel more grounded in the daily hustle that has become your life. Perhaps you realize that you’d benefit from talk therapy, and so you commit to a therapist just as you commit to the gym because you are learning how to prioritize your mental health. Maybe you’re learning how to say “no” to the things that weigh heavy on you and “yes” to whatever makes your soul feel as if it could fly. Perhaps boundary is becoming your new favorite word.
Or perhaps your growth isn’t a lifestyle change — maybe it’s something coming from deep within your soul. Perhaps it’s a change in values, a shift in perception, or embracing a new thought process. Maybe you’re looking more closely and deeply at the truths you once clung to and seeing the shades of grey when all you used to see was black and white. Perhaps you will dare to live in such a way that changing your mind is not radical or flimsy, but a beautiful thing to embrace once you’ve received new information. Maybe your growth comes from never quite quenching your thirst to learn — and so you are always reading, and listening, and, undoubtedly, growing.
Whatever your growth looks like, I hope you lean into the newness that each day can, and will, bring. Delight in the unexpected and embrace the unfamiliar. Take the time to listen to the murmurs of your own heart, and don’t shy away from changing your mind when faced with new facts.
Give yourself the room to grow.