The Magic of Growing Pains

Transitions are hard. Really hard. Really really really hard. Just when I think I have things figured out and I am ready to shoot from the starting gates, my legs are pulled from beneath me. I’ve fallen on my ass. Or my side. Ormyface. Again.

I am a dancer and a runner and a firecracker by nature. So when I set my mind to do something, I lay out a plan then do it with passionate, flaming energy.  Things may not go ‘perfectly’ (what is perfect, anyway) but I keep stalking ahead with my eyes on the prize. Within a few moments of pouncing, I have moved on.

Sometimes I speed off and often forget to breathe, leaving myself in the dust. For a long time, the phrase ‘taking my time’ implied very little benefit for me. Waiting, trusting, breaking, letting go, reforming is agonizing. It’s got me unpeeling all my layers like an onion, seeing them as they are and taking in deep, intentional breaths. Slowing down is a different beast altogether.

In this new period of my life, I am taking time to focus on being a whole person. We spend at least 12 years in school and even more in higher learning to become the perfect [insert arbitrary title here]. Why aren’t we just taught to be our weird, expressive selves? Why does no one teach us how to remain child-like and curious? To develop our gifts to the fullest of their abilities? To show care? To be fluid, ever-changing human beings?

“All that you touch you Change. All that you Change changes you. The only lasting truth is Change. God is Change.” – Octavia Butler

In the spirit of slowing down, I am challenging my mind with being still.  When fears think they are in charge, it’s just our pain saying that it is more powerful than anything the Universe has for us.  This makes room for anxiety, depression, illness, anger, and insecurity. As I self-analyze and consider all I have survived and will endure, I am comforted by my heritage. I am reconnecting with family in a new way, listening to stories about my ancestors, cooking warm foods (recipes coming soon), and returning to my roots.

Recently, returning to these roots have been like a time-warp. I have reawakened my inner-toddler by converting a large sunroom once filled with old junk to a meditation space/playroom/one-person yoga studio. It was wildly therapeutic, like I was cleaning out the heaviness in my life and making room for light.

It’s so weird for me because I hadn’t allowed myself space to just be with myself like this. It’s unlike anything I have known before. I am giving myself the courage to laugh, cry, destroy, create, scream, sing- anything.  After a childhood of being ‘super quiet’, ‘mature’, and ‘well-behaved’, I quite need these tantrums.

I am shedding parts of my life that no longer encourage my growth. I am learning to watch my emotions rise and fall without letting them control me. I am being both a mother and a daughter to myself. It’s like I skipped 3, went straight to 30 and my psyche is trying to course-correct at 20. Can you imagine that?

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

― Rumi

If you are also feeling these growing pains, I urge you to be patient with yourself. You are where you are for a reason. Please do not torture yourself trying to push what you cannot control. Do not fear to let go because you are making space for better things to come. Slow down, breathe, and turn to what supports you. Show love to yourself and show love to the world. Life isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. Take little steps every day to help you become your most radiant, most fulfilled self. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, this is all a learning process. When you put yourself first, you’ll never go wrong.

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