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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Growth


I was playing around on Pinterest tonight and I saw this quote.  It spoke volumes to me about where I've been in my life and what I'm currently working on figuring out.  

I've been blessed with many great people in my life.  And there are so many more wonderful people I've met this year through my new job, my family and a few other things.  So, I know it seems strange to the people who are new to my life that I've changed so much on the inside as well as the outside.  The weight loss is easy for people to see.  Especially because I love taking pictures and getting excited for myself :) 

The changes on the inside are much harder to see.  But, one thing I know for sure is that the people who know me best constantly comment to me that they can't believe how happy I look and, the best one, that it's like I am a completely different person - in the best ways possible.  I didn't get here overnight.  And I'm still not anywhere close to where I want to be.  That's where this quote comes into play in my life.

Growth is painful - 
We do most of our physical growth as kids and teenagers.  But, I think the first part of this quote is talking more about mental and emotional growth.  The past 15 months have been full of so many positive things, you might think I haven't had very many difficult times.  You'd be wrong.  I go through ups and downs.  Learning how to come out of my shell, try new things, meet new people, etc., is extremely difficult for me.  But, all of this is part of my growth as a person.  There are times when I look at myself and say, 'really Amanda, you're 34 years old, you should really have this figured out by now".  That would be one of the down moments.  Part of my growth has been learning how to snap myself out of these thoughts.  Everyone figures things out in their own time.  It's just taken me a little longer than others.  And, every day I become more and more okay with that.  

Growth doesn't have to be painful.  For me, I think the word uncomfortable might be a better fit.  I'm learning how to grow and do things that are way outside of my comfort zone.  It's hard.  But, everytime I do it, I grow a little bit.  And it isn't as painful as I thought it would be.

Change is painful - 
I believe this includes both physical and emotional change.  The physical part, well, let's just say that in the last 15 months I've discovered body parts I didn't know existed through soreness.  That would be the physically painful part of change.  The emotional part of change is also painful.  I've had to work through so many emotions, feelings of inadequacy, and learn how to love myself.  Let's just say there's been plenty of tears, frustrations and talking myself through more things than I ever thought I would want to figure out.  Each one has been a part of the changes I've made.  And, although painful at times, it's something I've needed to do to work on becoming the person I want to be.

But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don't belong - 
Truer words have never been spoken.  I don't think I realized how much pain I was in until I started to climb out of the parts of my life that were making me so miserable.  The weight loss has given me a new found confidence in being around other people.  But, it's a small piece of that confidence.  Every day I become more and more okay with who I am.  I realize that people actually want to know me, talk to me and find me interesting.  For so long, I never had the confidence to believe that anyone really cared.  I didn't think I mattered to anyone.  I don't write that to make people feel sorry for me.  I write that to tell you that everyone struggles with something but, also, that everyone has a place in the world.  For some of us, it takes a little longer to figure out what that place is and to find the confidence to live life.

Every day I struggle with doing things that are uncomfortable.  But, I also never knew I could be as happy as I am today.  I believe before I met Renee' I was stuck somewhere that I didn't belong.  It just took the right person to help me see things about my life and myself in general that I couldn't see on my own.  We talk often about my life and putting myself out in the world (which she knows is really hard for me).  Although my stomach may be in knots when she gives me things to do that are hard for me, I know I need to do take the steps.  And, somehow, she makes me believe that taking the steps won't be as hard as I've created them to be in my mind.  And, she's right.  Every time I make a decision to try something new, I feel like a new person.  Like I've taken a step in the right direction.  And like I am finally stepping away from that place I don't belong in and finding my way to being happy. 

Figuring all of this out has been and continues to be a large part of this journey for me.  I am so thankful for the friendships I've made and for the confidence they've helped me find in myself.  For taking the time to be my friend and show me that I have so much to offer the world.  Being included is something I haven't felt a lot in my life.  To have that feeling now is truly priceless. I can't describe it any other way.  Thank you :)