Growing up – looking back and looking forward

In the 30 short years I’ve been on this planet, I’ve gone through so much change within myself and in the world around me. I was talking to a friend recently and she admitted that something I’d said to her in highschool still weighs on her mind sometimes. Now, highschool for us was over a decade ago so that’s a long time to keep a memory. But the awful thing was that she’d remembered it because I’d said something terribly hurtful. When she told me this I was absolutely horrified. I wished I could go back and steal the words from my 14 year old mouth!

I had said something completely ingnorant and judgmental and the worst part was I couldn’t even remember saying it. Bad things tend to stick with you and I was alarmed that I didn’t think anything of it at the time and simply must have filed that moment away under “there’s nothing wrong with that comment”. Now sitting face to face with this lovely human being I was struck by how different I really am now and how thankful I am that I’m no longer that narrow-minded teenager.

It’s not like I was the naughtiest, nastiest girl on the planet but I have come to understand just how changed you really become as you grow and learn more about life and those who share it with you. Looking back can be difficult but I truly believe the pain is worth it if you can see the ways in which your heart and mind have blossomed over the years.

This is all really great and I’m thankful for all the ways in which I’ve become a better person. But the sad reality is that you never seem to arrive when it comes to growing up. Yes your heart and mind burst into a big blousy bloom in super slow mo over the years but that doesn’t mean every petal is untarnished and perfect.

Having this moment of bittersweet (but mostly bitter) reflection with my friend reminded me that I still sport flaws and that will always be the story. I’m sure in another ten years I’ll remember with a grimace something I said or did at this time in my life.

Basically what I’m saying is that I am thankful for growing up but it’s definitely a journey of hills and valleys. I think the main thing is honing your sense of self-awareness. Another big asset is being open to gaining insight. To admit you’ve done something wrong is hard but today I’m thankful that I have enough awareness and insight to see my flaws for what they are and work on becoming a better person because of them.

What are your thoughts?

-Heidi x

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