I decided to
talk a little bit write a stupidly long post about personal growth today. The idea came last month after I met up with my best friends for a very long over due lunch. We were talking about the “good old days” of high school and how we have changed. And how we are all so different from each other now.
Back in high school the 3 of us liked the same music, movies, hobbies and had the same goal after school: go to college (but I don’t know if we thought much past that). Now one of my friends is a graphic designer in the city. She is very fashionable and I like to think she lives a glamorous life (even though she has told me parts of her job are not all that glamorous)! The other friend traveled after university and then continued her long standing summer job at a park. Now she is going back to school for eco tourism and will continue to travel as much as possible. Then there is me…my friend Sarah said it best: If I had told you in high school that you would be splitting fire wood for heat, you would have laughed at me. And she is right. Never in a million years did I picture myself having such a strong desire for self sufficiency and a small little homestead. I didn’t think I’d be spending my spring and summers tending to my gardens, making sure the veggies we planted are growing as they should be. I didn’t think I’d enjoy canning and preserving, heating my house with wood or even entertaining the idea of getting chickens.
But that’s my life now. I’m so different from the angsty, poetry writing, pink haired girl I was at 16. I wouldn’t want to be the same person I was at 16 or 17. I’m 24 now and my desires from life have changed and grown as I see snippets of what my future could be like.
As a teenager I didn’t really have concrete goals that I could work towards. I didn’t know what I truly wanted and never thought seriously about my future. I didn’t think about who I’d be at 20 years of age, or 25 or 30. The ideas of marriage, home ownership and a family of my own were just abstract notions that I had no interest in. And honestly, sometimes I felt like they were unattainable for someone like me. The teenage me was very against change and convinced I’d stay the same way forever. Parts of me did stay the same…I still have the same morals and beliefs. What I place value in has changed though. My poetry journal and camera used to be the most important things to me (It’s shallow, I know). Now I value intangible things like family, friends and stewardship most.
I used to be so present-oriented (and very obsessed with the past) because the future didn’t seem like something I’d experience soon. Now my focus is still on the present but I often wonder and dream about and plan for the future. I wonder if David and I will be living in our house forever or if we will end up moving at some point; I dream about all the saplings David planted growing into huge trees and shading the yard; I plan for garden expansions that will allow us to plant even more fruits and vegetables that will feed us all year.
Sometimes I like to reflect on who I am now and who I was at various points in my life. How am I different now than when I was 13, 16, 18, 20, etc? How am I the same? As I mentioned earlier, there are things about me that have not changed over the years. I’m grateful for my strong morals and beliefs that have made me into who I am. I’m also grateful for personal growth that has shaped my life thus far.
Now, personal change is something I look forward to. Sometimes it’s hard when things change but I firmly believe everything happens for a reason. It may take us a while to see what that reason is, but nothing happens ‘just because’.
Hopefully 2015 brings us some new and exciting things. I wish you all the best this year and hope you experience personal growth, no matter how small.