Sorry But You Can’t Grow Without Change

As i’m about to turn 24, I am looking back at myself as a whole. Seeing how much I have grown over the years and how much more growing I need to do. But I can actively say that it has been one hell of a rollercoaster filled with so many mixed emotions. It is so hard to look back at yourself and say I need to do this, but when you do it, it’s the greatest feeling. Knowing how much I’ve evolved in the last couple of years as a person is honestly my most important journey I have had to endure, one that is filled with hard hitting truths. I am truly overwhelmed with all that I have had to go through and experience, though all very valuable life lessons, i would not be the person that I am without them!

Change is one of those things that can be scary but so beneficial. I was one of those people who felt like, I was who I was. I was messed up, and you either dealt with it or you didn’t…period. I did not feel the need to change myself because I thought it was a lost cause. Thought that I just simply could not do it and that it was too late anyway, I was just stuck in my ways. I was wrong. So very wrong. Eventually, I realized that I was not happy with the person I was nor the person I was beginning to turn into just because I felt as though I was fine how I was, regardless of the fact it was self-destructing. I am naturally quite stubborn at times, do not like arguing but can be very argumentative, and I wore my heart on my sleeve, I was extremely sensitive and let people get to me very easily and therefore retaliated just as fast. This was tearing me up inside because I knew this was not the person I am or the person I am supposed to become.

So I started to make some changes. Did they happen overnight? Hell no, some things I am still working on, and other things I did not realize it was a problem until recently. Although it was intimidating and felt impossible, within time I and those around me saw the changes. I just had to constantly remind myself, “Hey just chill” or “Remember, Elena, do better.” Honestly! Those were the thoughts I kept in my mind to have those changes made.

Everyone screams of growth! Always talking about bettering themselves and being a better person but then don’t want to change. How do you expect to grow as a person if you aren’t learning from your prior mistakes? Learning from your experiences, figuring out how to become a better you. And don’t mistake change as losing yourself. That’s what I did. You don’t have to lose yourself, it is an improvement of you. As humans, we are constantly evolving, physically, mentally, and emotionally. So it is necessary to get rid of bad habits and fertilize the good ones. As I said before, there are things that I did not see as an issue until now. I may have changed one aspect of myself but within time and growing as a person I saw something else I may want to alter. That is what growth is. Not just saying and pretending, but actually DOING. Taking the effort to make that change.

Also I should mention, do not worry about those around you. People who care about you will see that you are growing for yourself and will always be there for you regardless. The people who complain that you are changing are jealous and scared that you are becoming a better person and are able to make that change. Usually, they are scared that they are going to lose you. Those are people that you may have to leave during your growth process too or reassure them that you will always be there but this has to be done for you. Sometimes your friends and family are not always on the same path of growth and that is fine, but never hinder your growth because of them and don’t look down upon them because they are not there in their lives yet. Change is scary but it is so necessary. Don’t get stuck in your ways. Don’t keep yourself in a small-minded box. There is always room for improvement, no matter the age or the times. There is no expiration date on growth, just in opportunities. So don’t miss that life-changing opportunity all because you were scared to change. You will only hinder yourself. Remember that you are worth it, and if you love and believe in yourself, change isn’t scary at all.

I May Not Be Who I Want To Be Right Now, But I’m On My Way There

I woke up this morning really not feeling good mentally and that feeling continued to follow me throughout the day, weighing heavily on my chest. There is only one thought that I can use to try and describe what I am feeling:

This is not who I want to be, this is not the life I want to be living.

I think this is the ugly truth at the centre of everything I have gone through and continue to journey through. For the longest time, I either punished myself for not easily fitting into the expectations society has set for me or I numbed myself to the point that I could make myself fit.

The truth makes me want to be sick because I put so much of my time, energy, and resources towards building this “house of cards” life and by admitting the truth I am now accountable to change it; to take new and unfamiliar steps towards the life I want to live.

Let me tell you: new and unfamiliar is fucking terrifying. Now the house of cards is crumbling and I am left exposed. Exposed to judgment, pain, and failure. Living in a house of cards may not have been the most stable, but it felt safe.

But, I know that living like this is simply unsustainable and I am nearing my breaking point. I am tired of feeling weak and worn down all the time. I hate being apologetic and afraid of everything and everyone. I want more for myself. I want to be better for myself, I need to be better for myself, my life and for those around me, I don’t even know who I want to be or what I want to do, but I do not want this anymore.

So what do I do with this Tuesday morning epiphany?

They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, but I would say that also applies to changing your life.

By admitting to myself and to you that what I am currently doing no longer brings me joy, I am holding myself accountable, too. I am identifying the life I do not want to live anymore and therefore many of the things that are going wrong that prevent me from being happy. Now it’s up to me to figure out what does feel right and what will bring me joy again.

Thankfully, I don’t have to figure it out alone – I have a support system of friends, and family to navigate this journey with. I have people who challenge me daily to live my best life and who help remind me to appreciate the simpler things in life. Happiness and fulfillment do not happen in a vacuum, it takes a village to thrive in this world.

I may not be who I want to be right now, but this is me taking my first step closer. It is so much easier to avoid asking ourselves in the first place: is this the life I want to live? It is so much easier to let the expectations and standards of others and society drive our choices. We can even take those choices and build lives that look beautiful and successful. But houses of cards are hollow and a foundation of sand is unstable. Asking ourselves the hard questions is not easy, it is fucking courageous. Vulnerability and unfamiliarity are fucking terrifying, but they are god damn necessary if we want to live a life of fulfillment and happiness.

So I challenge you to be fucking courageous and ask yourself this one simple question: is this who you want to be?