Growing Pains

I feel like I’ve been running for a long time. Get the dream job, travel the world, find the man you’re going to marry. HURRY! And plan for the next decade, how else will you get the life you want?

I knew I was getting ahead of myself, but what was the alternative? Fear was so big in my life, for so long, and I would do anything to avoid people seeing me fail.

Life certainly has a way of knocking you on your ass.

All those foundations I’d built turned out to not support much of anything when the right gust of wind hit. 23 certainly snapped something in me.

Of course, I had been alone before, been let down before, but not like what I experienced this year. I’ve never chosen to tack six extra hours onto my workday to chase a chance at a dream. Definitely never stood up for myself to people I loved and wanted to be happy. I was brokenhearted this year, and angry, and still determined to spend hours in the library on Saturday morning, still make the trip home from class (and a full day of work) at 12:30 a.m.

I was determined to show the world I was cruising despite the fact I barely had a hold on who I was anymore. I was pushed to the edge this year, stretched so thin, wondering if I would be left with any love and patience when the pressure let up.

 

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Someone told me it was growing pains. What a perfect way to put it, like a favorite pair of jeans that don’t fit anymore.

For a while now I think I’ve known — I’ve been aggravatingly and awkwardly stuck on a path that felt like it didn’t belong to me. I knew I had do something, but I wasn’t ready to take the leap — I wasn’t close to being prepared to admit the investments I’d made won’t last me any longer.

You could say I never really made that choice — I got pushed from the nest and I flew.

Of course, it was painful. Choosing something that is difficult, but right, over what is easy and not even damaging — just limiting you, was never something that I saw and could model after.

But in my 23rd year, that’s the decision I needed to make to be the person I want to be.

The truth is, I’m as lost as ever. I don’t know where or who I’ll be, even by this time next year. And somehow, I’d still choose this woman over the girl who convinced the world she had everything figured out.

I’m still scared as hell, and I will be, but at least now I know this life and choices I make in it are for me alone.

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