Come closer, I want to tell you a secret … *whispers* Here’s something we, in adulthood, don’t often get told. Just because you thought or believed something in your youth and were vocal and passionate about it then, doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind, learn and grow, and be vocal and passionate about new things. It’s okay. A lot of us were idiots in our 20’s and 30’s. Personal growth is an ongoing and commendable thing.
Actually, ‘idiots’ is the wrong word to use here… We were young and perhaps uneducated about a lot of things. Some of us lacked guidance or positive role models. We went along with our peers because we didn’t know any better, or we were scared to speak up against the crowd. We hadn’t grown into ourselves yet. And we are still growing. Again, that’s okay. Make peace with that.
If you’re coasting a little bit, if you’ve got too comfortable, maybe it’s time to change gears and go off-road?
I’d also argue that it’s often difficult to grow if you close yourself off to things you think might not fit with your views. Sometimes you need to know who you’re not before you find out who you are.
And that growth might never end. You’re not a Pokémon. You don’t have a Final Form to assume. I also understand that realisation can scare people sometimes. It can feel very uncomfortable and confronting to push yourself into new things. To be honest with yourself about the parts of yourself which need to, or could benefit from, change. But if you’re coasting a little bit, if you’ve got too comfortable, maybe it’s time to change gears and go off-road? The map of your life is broad and wide. Don’t just limit yourself to what you know, especially if that’s from fear. Walk the road less travelled. Have adventures as often as you can.
David Bowie once said: “Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.” And that sentiment applies just as much to who you are as what you choose to do.
Integrity. Honesty. Authenticity. These are things you can strive for as you learn and grow. These are things that no one can give you, and which nobody can take away. Don’t ever let anyone else tell you who you are. They’re not paying rent or living your truth, so don’t give them space in your head. Only you get to decide that.
And remember: always be kind.