For me, it is that time of the month again. For you, it could be the very first time you've ever are looking into the mirror of self accountability or perhaps, it could be a long overdue look at yourself, where you are at, what your goals look like, and how you are projecting yourself to the world. And trust me, I know it is a lot to take in. So, you may ask yourself, where does one start in this journey of self-love. Well, I happen to have a few observations for you to get yourself into shape to meet your "Growing Up Goals" as I fondly call them. I have a pletohra of personal experience, including a handful of wins and some fairly grand scale losses to really level out the playing field. Once I realized that growing up comes in all forms and may seemingly come out of left field and surprise you with a slap in the face, I began to feel a bit calmer when I felt the winds of change picking up around me and more in control of the situation that lay ahead. Sometimes growing up can be tricky and surely sometimes it hurts, but I am here to tell you that it does get better once you start to recognize what is going on around you.
(Quite a fitting song, I must say.)
1) Your interests change.
Part of the process of growth includes the fact that your interests will change. For starters, in the literal sense of growing up, one may not always redeem an affinity towards My Little Pony's. (Now, I'm sure there are a few people who have rode out the trends, get it? And more power to you!) For most of you wonderful human's out there, you traded in those small figurines for crop tops and a new blush brush as you blossomed into a beautiful young woman, ready to take on the world. Even as you hit your twenties (I for one am in my late twenties and my interests are ever changing.) you will find that you may have been the type to want to go out to the clubs to catch all the action and you also may or may not have traded in that killer sparkle skirt for a wonderful seven season, twenty episodes per season television show or you may have had your interest peaked when you saw someone reading a book with an intriguing title. It is totally okay to want to explore new sides of you and see how your newfound interest(s) compliment your life. (It is also okay to keep one of those My Little Pony's for good luck on your shelf too.)
2) You relationships will ebb and flow.
I am just going to get right down to it and tell you that even the strongest of friendships will hit a plateau. You could be flying as high as a kite with your partner in crime and all of the sudden they either will do something that doesn't fit either their character or the character you are building for yourself. I mean, you could very well just not feel the spark anymore. In some instances, you can easily take some space and revisit the friendship in a couple of months. (I find this to be the healthiest practice. One of my greatest friendships went through a period of sparce communication for a couple of weeks at a time and we are able to pick up exactly where we left off.) But you must remember this one crucial fact: people all around you are also growing and they are doing so all of the time. It is a great time to really reflect on what you are wanting out of the friendships you have maintained and what you may possibly be looking for in future aquaintances. The absolute same goes for your family ties and your significant other. Do you need someone who is always at the ready or do you prefer someone who you can talk to on a weekly basis? Will they travel with you or will you simply use them as a shoulder to cry on? When they speak to you, do you feel lifted up or do you feel anxious and worn down? Whenever this period should arise in my life, I use it to really reflect on how much energy I am actually giving out to maintain my relationships and whether or not it actually is a healthy boundry for me. It is a good idea to revisit any relationship that you have and ensure that you are both working towards the same goals.
3) Your sense of lifestyle will evolve.
At one point in time, I was literally throwing on whatever clothes I had near me and it didn't matter if they were pressed and even coordinating. I traveled the west coast of America in a beanie and a pair of Etnies, looking casual, but clearlythrown together. I would like to say that as I have gone through time's truest growth process; the aging process, I have acquired a bit more togetherness when it comes to my sense of fashion. I have learned what hair cut and color works for my face and I have also learned how to apply a wonderful face for the day. (By a lot of trial and error, I might add.) Part of my style change was encompassed into my overall lifestyle change. I decided one day that I cannot take for granted my health and I decided to start working out. I have evolved reps of ten moves each into a full blown hour and a half each session and with that, I have changed how I was eating. My growth came from my ability to really hunker down and go "Okay, so remember that fast food that you ate about an hour ago? Yeah, well it's not doing you any favors. It cost ten dollars and it was coated in a special layer of oil before you consumed it." Now, I'm not saying that I won't go eat the occassional burrito, because best believe that I will. I am simply saying that you will grow into the "Do better, be better" motto and once you do, you won't look back.
When it comes to personal growth, there will come a time in your life when you just get over accepting the things that you were allowing yourself to believe were okay in the first place.
4) Your emotional palette matures.
When it comes to personal growth, there will come a time in your life when you just get over accepting the things that you were allowing yourself to believe were okay. Your friend may have done something in your friendship that you weren't comfortable with and you were afraid to address them. You could be teetering on ending your relationship with your significant other because you sense you are actually moving into two different life directions. You may enter your workplace one day, take a good look around, and realize that you have been in a haze the past year just trying to get through the week versus enjoying your life. For some, it is enough to hand in the keys and walk out right then and there. Personally, I am done accepting anything that isn't benefiting me in a positive light. I cannot be around anyone who has a negative mentality on a regular basis. (I.e. always complaining. I'm talking about the weather, a customer, their house, their hair. They're mad that time is moving slowly. They're pouting cos their check wasn't as grand as they thought.) I run for the hills at the sound of the negative alarm. It creeps up on everybody though, I just want to be clear on that part. You will probably complain about something in the future, heck, probably even in the near future, but you will quickly realize, just as I did, that you don't like the sounds of the negative coming out of your mouth. It is a glorious feeling to reach a point in your life where you're about the quality of the people around you and the time you are spending and putting into things versus the quantity and the mundane.
At the end of the day, you and only you are responsible for your self growth. You are the master of the dojo and you hold the key to getting to where you need to be, by evolving who you are.
Everybody makes mistakes. The only thing that matters is what you take away and learn from them. That is what defines you on your journey for personal growth.
My best advice is to take it one day at a time. What worked for me was I became more organized with my time management and each day I have a good idea of how my day should go based on what I allot as important for myself. But everybody is different. You may have an entirely different approach to how you will get yourself to grow and there is nothing wrong with that! Keep in mind that these four categories will play a crucial part as you go through the maze. Either way, cheers to the new you that comes out at the end of it all!