The truth is that you probably won’t recognize the moment you start to change yourself. You probably won’t know the day you meet someone who alters the course of your life forever. You might not immediately see the gifts of being brave enough to choose your future self over your current fears.
But it’s going to happen anyway.
You’re going to blossom anyway because that’s what you were designed to do. All of that resistance, that fear, that denial? It’s growing pain. It’s part of the process.
You’re going to be happy and hurting and healing, all at the same time. You’re going to see places you never thought you’d see, and still find yourself gravitating to the old ones you thought you couldn’t get away from fast enough. You’re going to accomplish feats so big and brave you never even dared to dream of them, and you’re going to wrestle the same tiny demons that have followed you your whole life. You’re going to meet someone who makes you feel more at peace than ever before, and they’re also going to shine a bright light on every part you’ve tried so hard to hide.
The truth is that becoming who we are is not a steady, linear ascent into happiness. We don’t grow in one direction only. When our lives go bigger, they go outward. We touch more, we feel more, we know more, we see more, we become more.
When we have more to lose, we get scared. When we have to leave our comfort zones, we crave familiarity. No accomplishment, no relationship, no city, no job excuses us from being human. Nothing is going to exempt us from feeling grief when we are sad, anger when we have been dealt an unfair hand, or resentment when we’ve done too much, and received too little.
This doesn’t mean we aren’t getting better. This doesn’t mean we’ve backpedaled, or that we’re regressing into our old habits. Sometimes, the ability to feel things we haven’t thought of in years is the healing. Sometimes, the willingness to cry at something simple and beautiful is the reckoning. Sometimes, befriending ourselves is the most important step of all.
In nature, nothing transforms without breaking first. Flowers can’t bloom until they’re deeply, wholly rooted. Seasons can’t turn until the cold has come and killed off the remnants of the past. Butterflies don’t spread their wings before being cocooned up in isolation for weeks, and stars don’t become supernovas before facing their own implosion.
Our greatest growth often comes just after we’ve looked our deepest fears in the eye. Our most profound advancements are only made possible by the willingness to try, and to fail. When we have nothing to lose, we have everything to gain.
When our hearts are broken and we don’t want to be who we once were, we are free to become who we’ve always wanted. When our dreams are dashed and the future is uncertain, we are no longer beholden to the plan we made for the person we used to be. When something doesn’t work out the way we thought, it’s almost always because we aren’t as good at it as we thought, we don’t love it as much as we thought, it wasn’t as good for us as we thought.
The truth is that becoming is not glamorous. It is not fun. It requires diverging from the easy path, leaving the safe trajectory, risking everything, trying anything.
The truth is that you will blossom in the moments you are most convinced you are failing and falling behind. The truth is that when you are jolted awake by your own life, you’re on the brink of a revolution. And the truth is that it won’t be easy, and it won’t be beautiful, but you’ll get to the other side and realize, that all along, there was a reason, there was a rhythm, there was a plan, there was a destination.
You were becoming, even if you didn’t know it at the time.