I had intended to share thoughts about this inspiring meme last weekend, in keeping with my Sunday Shorts theme. However, I spent a very pleasant afternoon at George Washington Carver Park, and wrote about that experience instead. Friday is a double blog post day, just as Sunday is. I chose to adapt and share today.
Inspiration can come to me in a variety of ways…a song or a conversation, a painting or a dream, a flower or a quote that has been made into a meme. Those memes pop up everywhere on social media. When one resonates with me, I save it.
This one snagged me last week:
I’ve thought about the truth of those words for days.
When I was a child, my mom had to purchase new clothes or sew new outfits for me every few months as I continued to grow. My old clothes wouldn’t have served me for long. The legs and sleeves would have become too short and the waist would have pinched. Remaining in my too-small clothes, no matter how cute they were, would have become uncomfortable after a while.
Even when I attained my height and stop growing, my clothing changed frequently. I gained or lost weight, went through pregnancies, changed my style as I changed my mind about what I thought I liked.
This experience is common to everyone.
As I grew physically, I also shifted and changed emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Those changes were not as evident as trading short shorts for bell bottoms or mini skirts for maxi dresses. It’s those changes though, that have most defined my life.
As an awkward teen, pictured above in my title meme, I could never have imagined how many versions of myself I would grow into…and then outgrow. As I learned, as my perspectives shifted, as challenges beset me, I became different versions of me. It seems the older I got, the more frequently I “updated” to a newer version, and the less painful it became.
Because, there is often pain with growth, especially when it happens quickly. I used to get legs cramps when I had physical growth spurts. Emotional, mental and spiritual growth spurts can create pain that is just as real. The painful times have grounded me though, and kept me from attempting to stay small when a bigger life was calling to me, inviting me to grow.
I am grateful that my 6 year old self and my 16 year old self did not know what changes were ahead. The 26 year old version of me could not have fathomed what my 40 year self would be like. That’s as it should be. When those next levels of life appeared, I grew to meet them.
My latest level up has involved a radical change in the way I eat and take care of myself. Earlier versions of me would have scoffed in disbelief that a future version would forego meat, dairy, sugar and bread! But that change was exactly what was required for me to live in optimal health and well being. I am open and unafraid about what the next level up will require from me.
When people tell me, “Wow, you’ve changed!” they don’t always mean it as a compliment. Growth happens at different times, for different people, and it can be a scary process. I welcome such comments though. It shows me that my growth is evident.
So…this is me. This is version 60.2 me!