“The clear water’s surface reflects growth.”

“We evolve beyond the person that we were a minute before.  Little by little we advance with each turn!”

“The one path you choose for yourself, that is the truth of your universe.”

Well, it’s been a long two years since I graduated fully out of the school world and into the working world and I’ve come a long, long way from that girl in May of 2011.  Lately I’ve been thinking about how, sometimes, I don’t even recognize that person, or especially the girl of the years before.  In the core of my personality, I’m the same of course, but the extremes are very different these days (for instance, I’m lucky if I can stay up past 11 or 12, and wake up sometimes at 8 of my own volition (like today).

I feel like the ink of experience has colored the canvas of my life a little more, growing more and more complete.  I finally feel like I am allowed to grow into the woman I’ve been striving to become, one baby step at a time but nonetheless moving forward, though the road ahead is still long (I hope).  

There have been many things that have made the first three years of my twenties some of the most event-filled and roller-coaster-y of my life.  I guess that’s the way it’s supposed to be, because this is the time of discovering ourselves, or whatever, supposedly.  And I guess that’s pretty true.  I like to think even in the last almost-nine months, since I got the job at the library, I’ve grown even from the person I was then.  Since February, even more, and in the last two months, some more then too.  I knew getting it would allow me to finally grow, and it didn’t disappoint.

I owe part of my gratitude to my coworkers, for seeing in me the things others who have mentored and helped me have seen and pushed for me to nurture and grow.  Of course, I don’t discount my family and friends for keeping me in check and encouraging me too.  They were there from the start, so many have “known me before” and hopefully they have seen the positive changes I have made too, even from that girl six months or a year and six months ago.

Of course, I have made many bad decisions.  I have lived with the consequences of those decisions and been grateful they weren’t worse.  They could have been much worse.  But humans have an incredible knack for adaptation and self-improvement.  The point is taking all our experiences and learning something from them.

It may be a truth you don’t want to face – I’ve faced those a lot in the last few months, especially – but it is one nonetheless.  And I felt better once I admitted to myself some things I’d come to learn – it helped me move on.  I was able to say, “Well, now I know that wouldn’t work,” and the road goes ever on and on. Some people live their whole lives not learning the lessons their experiences have taught them, but right now I am trying my best to do that in the way I know how.

I don’t pretend to know anything about life other than what I’ve observed and experienced.  I can share my experiences with you and hope you can relate on some level, find in the sand some grain of my truth that matches a grain of your truth.  But I can say with certainty that I’ve changed and grown in ways I can’t begin to recount in the years between my walking across that stage and now.

As a teenager you might resist “the real world” talk, but it’s true that it IS a different world once you’re out of school, no matter how old you are when you leave whatever institution.  And I know I barely know everything.  I don’t know what it’s like to have to pay rent officially, or live altogether on my own or have only my income to rely on, but that’s because I’m unable to be at this point.  What’s wrong with living at home if you’re saving up so that when you do live on your own, you are able to, at least as comfortably as possible?  That was always my plan growing up anyway, and things just worked out.

You know that occasional feeling either that people have discussed or you’ve experienced, of every decision of your life coming together to lead up to this moment?  That’s how the whole last couple of months have been.  I’m not necessarily saying that’s fate or destiny, just an observation of your life and all the choices and the paths you see yourself taking, and how everything makes sense.  “Everything is as it should be,” because you make your own reality.

But, of course, more change is coming.  I begin grad school at the U of A and I know that’s an adventure all on its own.  Although I’m not living down there but doing mostly online/commuting once a week or however frequently, it’s still a new experience.  It’s the path to my MLS, and that opens to the doors to even bigger possibilities.  I know I can’t do it alone, but if the last few years have been any indication, I think I’ll be just fine.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

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