Life Outside Social Media

Stages of Growth

     Many people lose hope in recognizing or living up to their potential because they don’t realize that 1) everyone grows at a different pace and 2) personal growth is an endless process. 

     I, myself, grow at a very slow rate and that’s something I’ve always kind of noticed but never quite addressed. I’m the kind of person who typically prefers to stay in this safe, privileged bubble that I was raised into because I’ve always only been drawn to familiarity. Now that I’m well into my 20s, or what people like to call the “selfish years” where we’re supposed to focus on finding ourselves, I figured that I should actually do something about my excruciatingly gradual rate of personal growth. So, based on my assessment of how my own mind works in relation to this matter, I came up with these three stages of growth to guide myself for whenever I feel like my life is going nowhere. 

     One: The Void. The reason 2016 was the worst year of my young-adult life so far is that I was stuck in this stage for months. It was a time when I lived very passively with barely any scope for self-reflection, which left me feeling incredibly empty, unmotivated, and detached. Most people might respond to this phase by engaging in certain behaviors to fill the void, namely drugs, alcohol, hook-ups, or anything that provides instant (albeit temporary) gratification. In my case, it was merely a time when it seemed like I had everything, yet I felt nothing, and I didn’t know what was wrong or how to fix it because I lost myself in the process. For the longest time, I just waited for my life to somehow fix itself but that’s evidently not how it works. This stage requires finding a solution that not only provides immediate euphoria but also lasting fulfillment. Honestly, the way I got out of this situation was through sheer luck – I came across a quote by Rupi Kaur that led me to rediscover my passion for writing, which brings me to the next stage. 

     Two: The Realization. This is the part where the problem’s finally been acknowledged and dissected. It might be the worst stage for many because admitting the fact that you’re damaged means that it all becomes real. It’s quite ironic that I’ve been through this stage a few years ago when I decided to stop writing. Because the more I would write, the more broken I would feel as a person, so I ceased doing the one thing that bridged my relationship with myself – and that’s how I lost who I was. This stage of realization is what makes or breaks you – you either accept the truth that you’re deeply flawed then go about finding ways to fix yourself, or you ignore the problem because you’d rather feel empty than broken. It took me nearly four years to realize that the latter was the root of my inexplicable dissatisfaction, but I assure you that I’m not making the same choice the second time around. 

     Three: The Repair. To tell you the truth, I’m not even at this point yet. I have (very) recently decided that I’m taking the high road this time as a result of undergoing the stage of realization, but I’m not entirely sure how I’ll do it yet. I know it would make a lot more sense to publish this post after having gone through all three stages of growth, but I want to let it be known that it’s normal to feel lost and not have everything figured out. Uncertainty, in many ways, is what gives life meaning. Life carries on either as a consequence of your actions or as a way for the universe to tell you that some things are simply out of your control. Although, one thing I am certain of is that I don’t have to go through the stage of repair alone. I like to think that I can rebuild myself all on my own, but it wouldn’t hurt to let others help me if I see that they truly care. 

     Personal growth is a skill – an unending process that takes time to develop, but it should never be perfected – because perfection isn’t human. Being broken is.

Monday, March 20, 2017