Why growing scares us…but it doesn’t have to

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When we are little, we can’t wait to get older.  When we are five years old, we want to be ten; when we are ten years old, we want to be eighteen.  When we are eighteen, we want to be 21. Once kids are old enough to recognize that being older means they get to do more things, they don’t need any convincing.  They are already committed.  And they are very sure of themselves.  No one isn’t going to tell them any different.  Ever tried to tell a young child that they can’t do something because they aren’t old enough?  Or tall enough?  Who hasn’t had a child break down because even though they meet the age requirement for that roller coaster at the amusement park, they are still too short?

But what’s exciting about being a kid is their fearlessness about growing.  They measure their height with the ruler placed on top of their head as Mom makes a mark on the back of the bathroom door.  Who doesn’t remember standing on your tippy toes to try to be taller than our older sibling?

girl-measuring-height

Kids WANT to grow.  They crave it.  It is something they look forward to.

But as we age, what happens?  Because kids interpret growing as growing bigger and older and adults interpret growing just as growing older.  We become resistant to change and refuse to change very little.  We become so accustomed to the way things are that we actually rebuff anything new coming into our lives.  We all do it.  You know it and so do I.

Here is a simple test.  Especially to you women out there.  If someone asked you your age, would you be offended or lie?  Would you deny that you have in fact been growing?  Some us never age past “29” yet we are excited when we are asked to show our ID if we are buying alcohol.

Why the double standard? Why can’t we be just as excited at being older as the kids are?

We want to grow up, but only when we say?

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EVERYTHING alive must grow!

But whether we grow on our own or are forced to grow, we always benefit from it.

Yes, I said, ALWAYS.

In order for us to live, we must grow.  We adapt differently, we fight it less…the growing itself is just as unique as we are.

We MUST change.

People that stay the same never seem to go anywhere new, and they just seem to be getting by, day by day.  They carry the same thoughts that they held onto for the previous 24 hours and can’t seem to get out of their rut.  Maybe they don’t know how to get our of the hole they are in and so stick with the routine they know so well.  In some ways, I  understand it.  It is easy and there is no real thought put into living their life.  They could star in their own version of “Groundhog Day”, where the same days just repeat themselves.

After a while that would get boring to me.  I need to have a variety.  I don’t want to have everything planned out.  Being that predictable leaves me with no will or wish to reach my full potential or live to the fullest.

But kids don’t look at growing as a negative thing, they can’t wait to not be ten years old and they know they are no longer just “nine years old” — they are “nine and a half years old.”

woman fear

Why can’t we be that enthusiastic about getting older?  What are we afraid of?  Maybe it is because we have a better sense of fear as we age.  Maybe it is because we are more aware of failure.  But shouldn’t that be the perfect time for us to be excited about something new?  When we don’t have all the answers and aren’t afraid anymore?

Now that we have more control over our own life, isn’t now the time when we should be exercising that right and living it on our terms?

Here is the question that will decide where you are:

What is ONE thing you wish you could change about your life?

We can find one thing we want to change…we want to be more kind…lose weight…save more money…give to a local charity…etc.

Identifying what we want to change is scary in itself.  We are afraid of what others will think.  We are unsure of how we will succeed.  So it is safer just to not try.  Right?  WRONG! But that is the excuse that everybody buys into and allows so they we discourage growth.  As much as I love the memories I have from when our sons were little, I am very glad that I have seen them grow into the fine young men they are today.  They could not be who they are now unless they had grown and allowed their circumstances and their attitudes about themselves change together.

Growth is essential to living a full life.  A former co-worker was confused about my transformation and made a remark similar to, “You are not the same Homme you were a few years ago.”  He was right.  I was different and when we grow, sometimes, others are not prepared for your growth.  You change and people have a hard time accepting that and either they will embrace you for who you have become or will walk away because they hold onto who you used to be.

Five years ago, that is exactly what happened to me.  A very special person walked away from our friendship.  No warning, no conversation.  Complete separation. Done. Over.  As I tried to process what I had done that had made her give up our friendship so quickly, I also second guessed whether or not our friendship was even real.  I wondered if it meant more to me than it did to her and also knew that I could not go back to who I once was.  And so I let time heal my wounds and when I would cross paths with this friend, it felt very awkward and fake.  I didn’t like it.  But I had to let it be.

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We are meant to experience life — with the heartbreaks and the joyous moments.  We must welcome change and grow with it instead of fight against it.  The inevitable will always find a way, no matter how hard we ignore it or hide from it.  Growing doesn’t have to be scary.  We need to learn to change that fear into excitement and wonderment.  We are using the same emotion and just converting it into positive energy instead of negative.

Stop being afraid of the outcome.  Start embracing the journey and living your BEST life.  We have one life.  We can choose to be afraid.  OR we can appreciate every twist and turn that comes our way.  Life doesn’t have to be scary.  Let’s love the ride instead!

Michelle A. Homme 2014 ©

 

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