I have decided recently that this business of growing up, whether you're in your twenties or in your sixties, has much less to do with what we are growing into than it does with what we are outgrowing.
Who knows what we are growing into? My ideas are evolving. My heart is newly softened. My soul finds connections in new and unexpected places. All in all, I think it's safe to say that, if we are open to it, we never stop learning, never stop growing--or at least should aspire to never stop. There is nothing I'm growing into because all definitions expand as I am growing.
There is plenty to outgrow, however. This is the nature of growing pains. We hold fast to an idea that is suddenly rendered impossible in the face of new information. Our heart endeavors its loyalty to the new and lasting loves, releasing the older ones that turned out to be temporary. What once moved us to tears, maybe feels shallow now upon revisiting.
To be clear, it doesn't make those things less real. Who can discount the power of youthful passions? The formativeness of first friendships? The stirring of nostalgia each time you hear a favorite song or smell baking bread or return to a special place?
Still, these are also the things we leave behind in the name of something else. I don't believe I was made to remain. I was created to expand, to seek, to discover. So by nature, we will outgrow. As surely as my girls will need new pants by the fall, I will need to shed the skin that no longer fits to make way for what is new.