10 Years of Growth

I’ve been thinking a lot about how our lives have changed over the last 10 years. If you would have asked me 10 years ago where I would be now, I would have said I was going to be an artist, maybe married? I knew I eventually wanted kids. But mostly I just wanted to make art and nothing else really mattered. Then I met Barry and my whole world flipped upside down. The path was laid before me and I wanted to walk down it.
I got married young and while my friends were partying in their college dorms, I was working, going to school and trying to figure out who I really was.
In those beginning years, we struggled, we fought, we ran back to our parents and we worried about our future. But we also loved, worked hard, and grew together as a couple.

The person I was 10 years ago was spastic, obnoxious, needy, lacking confidence, loud, and a know-it-all. I don’t know how much smarter I am today, but I know I have grown and changed. I am no longer the girl beat down by social prejudice, mocked and made fun of because I wasn’t just like everyone else. I was always different…still am today. I like to think that parts of who I was are still in there- character traits I was born with that will always be a part of me (like being loud, or telling it like it is- thanks, Mom!) But I have been changed, molded, shifted into something else because of my different life experiences. I am no longer defined by the high school experience.
I used to think that’s really all there was and because of my lack of popularity in high school that my life was pretty much set in stone. (I had already tried to make a new “me” in middle school when my family moved in 7th grade. I failed because I couldn’t just change who I was. So I accepted it as a life sentence.)
I used to waste a lot of time looking for approval, to be liked, and for friends in all the wrong people. What I really needed was to strip all that away and have the freedom to be myself. To let relationships form organically out of love and respect (and even brutal honesty…but mostly love so that even when we fight we can make up).
I think that’s still a work in progress but look how far I’ve come.
10 years. That’s a long time. That’s a lot of change.

My high school reunion is happening right now (in case you’re wondering, I didn’t go. But I did post a throw back on my Facebook and IG!!).
Which I guess is what made me think about it. Missing some of the good times but mostly grateful it’s behind me.
And how timely- Train just released a new song called Bruises. It talks about seeing an old lover and friend 10 years after high school- all their trials, mistakes, roads taken and ones not traveled. It’s so interesting how it all works out.
For me, I’m happy and proud. I love my life, my family, and the friends I get to share it all with. No one is perfect and I’m still learning, but I think the last 10 years have been an improvement.
I’m now a mama, wife, artist, crafter, wanna-be-hippy, loud, tell-it-like-it-is lady and I like it that way.
I’m comfortable in my skin for the first time in a long time. It’s empowering and is fuels more growth and change.
Seasons change, people change- they come in and out of our lives. I want to love them, learn from and with them, screw up and forgive with them and share with them while I have the time.

Looking forward to the next 10 years, more bruises and more growth. 🙂

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