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Growing pains

I don’t know where this entry is going or how it’s going to get there. Is like a stream of consciousness, and that’s kind of true for life, isn’t it? You don’t know where you’re going to end up when all is said and done, and you have no clue the twists and turns your days will take as you get older.

When you’re young, the world seems so big and time is infinite.

When you’re young, summers last forever.

When you’re young, you can never imagine someone purposely hurting you to “get ahead.”

And then one day, things change.

You fly halfway around the world in less than 24 hours, birthday candles multiply but presents get less and less, and you spend way too much time in wool hats and mittens. You get hurt by someone you care about so they can fit in with the “cool kids,” and you wake up one morning suddenly able to legally drink. At first, you’re thrilled. And then a few years go by, you stop getting carded, and you start getting scared.

Growing is a pain.

It’s more than one pain, actually. It’s a lot of little pains – needles, really – jabbing you at random times in different spots. Kind of like acupuncture. It may be uncomfortable, but it ultimately helps. Your walls come down, then they get shattered and you work even harder to build new ones. Your job kills your soul so you get a new one that breaks your spirit. But you persevere and get that promotion. And you start to wonder what it’s all about.

So you look for ways to grow.

You take up new hobbies, some sticking, some not. You hang with a new crowd and date against type just to say you did.

All of these experiences help shape you. Growing doesn’t stop just because you hit a certain milestone. It doesn’t stop when you go to college or get a job or get married. This is one of the things that I see people my age (late 20’s to early/mid 30’s) struggle with everyday. We wonder if we are doing life right or why we don’t feel compelled to “follow the crowd.”

I’m seriously begging with everyone I can to try and stop thinking that way.

You see, I never really followed the crowd.

I wore the same sweatshirt with holes I cut out for my thumbs all through high school. I worked on the weekends instead of going to house parties (I was never really aware of them anyway, so no big loss there). I left my first college despite people around me urging me to stay because they were worried I’d never finish school. Then, after college, I got a great job that I quickly decided to leave so I could go to graduate school. I got a job and an apartment and turned 30 unmarried. But I had lived in my own, amazing ways. I had seen Europe and Latin America and hiked mountains and kayaked rivers and drank far too much wine (is there really such a thing?) and far too little beer (I suck at drinking beer). I ate too much. Then I ate too little.

And where am I now? I’m not in a sewer or unhappy or unfulfilled. I have things I love to do and people I love to be around and, sure, sometimes I could be happier in areas of my life. But, is it something to stress out about?

Nah.

Life’s a freaking journey. I’m never growing up – and I don’t think anyone ever should.

 

XOXO
Amanda

 

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