Growing Up is Hard to Do

When I was in grade school, all I wanted to do was be a grown up. I couldn’t wait to have a car. I couldn’t wait to have a job. I couldn’t wait to be in charge. Grown up life seemed like so much fun.

And mostly, it is. As an only child whose first sentence was “Me do it,” I relish independence. Everything from what time to set my alarm, to how I spend my time, to what I want to do with my life. I like getting to decide.

But I also miss being a kid. I miss playing. I miss living in the same house as my parents and getting to see them every day. I miss adults telling me to enjoy being a kid and thinking they were crazy. Now I know what they meant.

Growth is hard.
Growth is uncomfortable.
Growth is necessary.

We are all works in progress. No one is every really done growing. I’ve written about discomfort in my growth and journey as a teaching artist before, and this is something I need to get comfortable with. (Getting comfortable with discomfort? Well that’s a whole separate post, isn’t it?) I have an often overwhelming need to fit new information perfectly into the things I already know about a subject, and when that doesn’t happen as immediately as I want it to, I become frustrated, nervous and insecure- both about myself and this new misfit piece of information. I’ve accepted that this is true for me. Now I’m trying to be okay with that discomfort because this process is part of who I am, so it’s not going anywhere any time soon. It’s challenging not to jump to that frustrated, insecure place and even harder to recognize this discomfort as something positive. But the most frustrating experiences and times in our lives often have the most to teach us about who we are, how we learn, and what we care about.

Thankfully, I am fortunate enough to have a job that lets me be a grown up AND a kid. Every day I get to make decisions, make plans, make lists  just like I always wanted. I also get to imagine, create, laugh and PLAY. Every day. In the teaching artist work that I do, I have the best of both worlds. I also have many mentors in my life that help me find my way between these two worlds. And for that, I am so grateful!

What is a challenging experience that you’ve learned a lot from?


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