What a Weekend Away Taught Me About Becoming the Person I Want to Be

Since this is a bit of a wordy post, I’ve included my very first (!!) podcast to spice things up. Be sure to let me know if you like this format, and check it out below!

What a Weekend Away Taught Me About Becoming the Person I Want to Be

I’ve been putting off writing this post for a few weeks now – partially because of exams, and also because it’s no mean feat to bare your soul to the Internet. However, my blog’s mantra is “growing up + getting happy”, so I feel a kind of duty to share my humble life lessons here for others to potentially/hopefully/possibly benefit from.

It’s really not easy, this “growing up” thing. The further I venture down this path, the more I learn: about myself and about the world. It’s hard work to fully accept your faults or weaknesses, and is sometimes even harder to appreciate your strengths.

One of the struggles to face is that your “ideal” or dream self – the self you dreamed of being as a kid or teen, before your life “really” started – is now conflicted. It’s about that time in your life that you expected your ideal self to come into being, but it’s proving more difficult to become that person than you expected. Or, it is for me at least.

Growing up, I had this picture in my head of who’d I’d one day become: a headstrong, travel-hungry extravert who’d be adventuring whenever possible, fiercely independent and completely unafraid. Instead, I became an introverted homebody who loves to write, cook, take photos, spend time with close friends and who appreciates comfort and routine. See the conflict? The problem is, I still have a hunger for that ideal self – I want to be an adventurer, I want to be fearless. It’s not that I’m unhappy with who I’ve become necessarily, but I still want to be more.

Luckily for me, I’m still growing. Last year for example, I was a hot mess – I called my Mom almost every night, I constantly sobbed into my Calculus textbook, and I completely dreaded trying anything new because I was clinging to any shred of comfort and normalcy I could find. I had a rough time, but it passed and I grew. I’m now standing on my own two feet. I’ve slowly woven a new life for myself, filling in the holes with friends and extra-curriculars, at my own pace and on my own terms. I’ve created comfort, allowing myself to branch out, to try more, and to experience the world without feeling overwhelmed.

The journey will never be finished, though. There is no end product. We are all, perpetually, works-in-progress. (Don’t you love it?)

So I’m still facing resistance from myself all the time – I still struggle to branch out and grow. Which is why, when my adventurous and fearless boyfriend suggested a spontaneous, weekend getaway to Quebec City, I resisted. I’m sure many of you would jump on such an opportunity in a heartbeat, so why did I immediately start making excuses?

“I don’t have time, I don’t have money, I couldn’t possibly, dear me – the logistics of it all!”

What’s that I hear? Total b.s. I had just finished my last midterm, I had a golden grace period before finals, my birthday was in less than a week, and hell – it would be fun!

But I worry though. I’d never been on such a spontaneous trip, one made without careful planning or, dare I say it, obsessing? It’s all I’ve ever known! Working hard to change that is, well..hard. In retrospect, it seems like the most minute molehill in the history of the world, but at the time it made me nervous to dive headfirst into the unknown. The controlling half of me was resisting, while my adventurous half got giddy at the mere thought of doing something so exciting!

Luckily, my adventurous (ideal) half won out, and it was absolutely wonderful. It was rewarding to push myself (again, many of you might not understand why it would be difficult, but trust me, for me it was!) and find that I have the freedom and power to do whatever I want to in this world. My actual and ideal selves met for a moment, and it made me so happy, I can’t wait for more.

Part of growing up is realizing that you’re far from perfect. The other part, in my opinion, is working hard on the rough parts of yourself so that you can expand and grow to your greatest potential. It’s striving to overcome fear and resistance at every step of the journey.

This little challenge taught me quite a bit about becoming the person I want to be. I learned that it will probably be a fight, every step of the way. There will be a constant battle within myself, I’ll have to push myself through the resistance and fight for my ideal self.  I’ll need constant reminders to myself that I can change, I can be whomever I wish, I can accomplish anything I choose, and I’ll be just fine. I discovered that it’s not as easy I thought to be the person I want to be, that it takes real struggle and courage. But I also learned that it’s very rewarding, and ?very worth it.

What have you struggled with in the past? What’s taught you the most about who you want to become? How do you work to get there? What are your fears/strengths/challenges?

Growing exponentially,

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9 thoughts on “What a Weekend Away Taught Me About Becoming the Person I Want to Be”

  1. My biggest struggle has always been to reach out and interact with other people. I love meeting new people, hanging with people, etc. But awhile back, I got burned by a close friend, and it affected me a lot. I’m still trying to figure myself out and take that risk of putting myself out there again. It’s taking very slow, very careful steps, but I have my fingers crossed. It’s not so bad once you get started :)

    1. Oh, I’m sorry to hear that – I’ve been burned by a “best friend” before too, I know it’s not fun. Good for you though for pushing yourself through it and still reaching out when you can. There’s nothing wrong with slow & steady – it wins the race! Thanks for your comment, it’s nice to know someone else struggles through this whole “life” thing too! Some people seem like they have it all together, so it’s nice to get a reality check if you know what I mean. :)

  2. Fear and inertia are both two very difficult things to get over. I’ve been in a similar state as you for most of college actually. I didn’t break down and cry into my calculus book, but I’ve always been hesitant to let myself go and try new and difficult things. In fact I’d often get started on something and then lose motivation and courage and get stuck half way through. Or some
    things I’d just never do because I was so unfamiliar and internally opposed to them.

    I’ve been trying to change that this semester (finally) with a lot more traveling, more reading and writing and more interesting projects. I’m still far from the point I want to be. I procrastinate a lot and sometimes it takes a good few hours to summon the energy and courage to make progress, but I’m getting there slowly but steadily. Interestingly I’ve found that meditation, quiet and stillness actually goes a long way towards making you feel both energetic and focused.

    The point is not to be fearless, it’s to acknowledge and know your fear and move on and get things done in spite of it.

    1. Inertia is the perfect word for it, isn’t it? It’s sometimes so much easier to stay put, and stay comfortable. Glad to hear I’m not alone in these feelings, it’s much easier to move forward if you don’t feel both afraid AND alone. It’s wonderful that I can relate to many others. I know exactly how you feel about the motivation and courage – I find it’s tricky to follow through with things I might really want to do if they scare me too much. I hate it, but you’re right: it’s not about getting rid of fear completely (an unachievable goal either way!), it’s about recognizing it and working around it. Very good point.

      I like what you say about quiet and focus being the key to energy and drive. I agree so much! I have to work on calming myself on the inside so that I can reach outside myself.

      Thank you for adding your two cents, it’s so nice to hear where other people are at in their journeys. :)

    1. Awesome, so glad you liked it! I, too, am a big fan of multi-tasking, although I don’t do it very well at all. :)

  3. Hey, that’s great… a lot of my friends really struggled with this issue when they hit 30. Luckily I survived in one piece :) It’s all about sticking to your true life values and what makes you happy. You could be the world’s richest supermodel and be jet-setting all over the place, but if you value your home environment and family more than travel, money and career you will never truly find the happiness you seek x At the end of the day – attachments make us unhappy; and wisdom, compassion and love are what make us happy – all of which I’m certain you’re blessed with in abundance :) x

    1. Such wise words – thank you! I’m glad you knew yourself well enough to hang in there and stick to your values. What you say about “true” happiness totally makes sense to me – sometimes we’re chasing an ideal that may not even work with who we are!! And we can never be happy as long as we’re searching for the wrong things. And as for being blessed, I certainly am and I think you are too! Thanks for the comment Sarah. :)

  4. Pingback: Looking Back on 2011 » Life In Limbo

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