So You've Outgrown Yourself
On December 31st a friend and I stepped out for a smoke. He asked me, “do you have any resolutions for this year?” I said I don’t believe in resolutions. I believe in constant growth, eternal evolution. I don’t think resolutions are bad or unhealthy…goals are always good. And the New Year is a fantastic time to take a look at yourself, your life, and get your intentions realigned. “I agree,” he said with a chilly exhale. “So, what are your intentions then?”
Between drags of a cigarette I said, “I want to do more things that are good and healthy for me.”
There’s this thing that starts to happen when life gets away from you: it’s a split. A slow and steady divide between how you see your life and what your life actually is. Like Pangea slowly but surely drifting away, parts of you become separated, distant, and out of touch. You don’t even notice it. There are so many ways that this happens, but it comes down to a couple core things: a lack of awareness, a lack of honesty with yourself, and a lack of action. The blaring truth that your external life does not align with your internal one is a major sign (and blessing) for you to wake up, listen to the music, and change.
Like Pangea slowly but surely drifting away, parts of you become separated, distant, and out of touch. You don’t even notice it.
Sucking on cigarettes while talking about being healthy is nothing new for me. Probably nothing new for a lot of people. I don’t mean that literally, but it’s the blatant dichotomy — almost comical — of how we can coast for so long off of dreams and goals and ideas of our life instead of creating them in reality. This feeling, this “split” is a sure sign that you’ve outgrown a certain way of being, and it’s time to find a new one.
It’s important to note why this split happens, because its simultaneously thrilling and saddening. It is also something completely out of your control. This split happens when your goals start to change. You are living in the goals and actions of your former self, and they made you happy for a while. That’s amazing. Acknowledge that!
Now you are starting to see yourself differently, with different goals that require different actions. The things you are used to wanting no longer make you feel good — this is simply an indication that your aspirations have shifted. You will feel a discomfort and unfamiliarity before you are wholly conscious and aware of it. This is thrilling because it is an opportunity for newness, exploration, and it is a clear indication of growth. This is saddening because shedding the skin of a former you is not an easy task, and it is not short. Be patient with yourself — past, present, and future. Being human is not easy, transitioning through seasons is one of our greatest challenges as people.
shedding the skin of a former you is not an easy task, and it is not short. Be patient with yourself…
Keep a close eye on your relationships. You may start to notice things you didn’t before. You may feel things in ways you didn’t used to. Or maybe the way you are showing up is altering the dynamic between you and this other person. Is their reaction positive or negative? A clear sign that a once comfortable relationship suddenly feels unfamiliar is that one or both individuals have changed and grown. This isn’t bad, this is human nature. Move through it, figure out what you both need.
Recognize that you may be the plant in need of watering.
Lastly, just a PSA for all humans: life, in its entirety, is a transition phase. You will always reach a point of feeling unsettled, trapped, or in need of something different. Biologically, we are built for movement, newness, and change. Please know that it is safe to make change. It is safe to find out what’s on the other side. It is very easy to get wrapped around the axel about your familiarity with yourself, or others’ perception of you, etc. You don’t owe anyone anything. It’s okay to move into a new version of yourself. Just because the world is used to you being a certain way doesn’t mean you owe them that forever. If your gut tells you there is more for you, better for you, go get it. Find out what you need right now. Make it happen.
Put out the damn cigarette and be who you want to be.