“There’s a reason they’re called growing pains,” a friend of mine says. Ain’t that the truth? I feel so uncomfortable because I’m growing beyond my comfort zone. For the first time in about five years I’m living with roommates again. A part of me wants to say, “I changed my mind! I want to live by myself again!” but another part really enjoys having social interactions and being around people.
It’s funny to be in such a state of flux – to see where I was and where I want to go but not really being in either. I see how this new situation is good for me, how it’s necessary for my growth as a person, but I am also still uncomfortable. That’s understandable considering yesterday marked two weeks of living here. I also recognize the discomfort I’m experiencing is growing pains. I’m expanding my circle of want and that takes some growth.
A few weeks ago I wrote about how the universe provides and mentioned I wanted to live somewhere that had a garden. I also spoke about how I wanted someone else to cook for me. I wanted someone else to share the household chores. All the things I mentioned I wanted months, or even a year ago, have manifested and now my mind is playing catch up. I’m reflecting back and asking, “Do I really want this? Am I really enjoying it?” Everything is so new and scary because I am no longer in a position where I can control everything, where I can make it look exactly the way I wanted. I can’t hide away from everyone else and dictate how I want my social interactions to go. I can’t have everything on my terms. I have to navigate around other people’s stuff and deal with the dynamics that come with living with others. I have to assert my needs and be cognizant of someone else’s. I have to do a lot of things that are outside my comfort zone and I don’t particularly like it.
Here is the beautiful thing. Even though I’m experiencing growing pains, I’m sticking with it. I want to grow, I want to learn how to live with someone else because I’m serious about having a romantic partner. I also realize what I want, what makes me happy, changes. It wasn’t so long ago that I was happiest when I was left by myself to watch TV and veg out. These days I find I’m happiest when I’m connecting with other people, when I get to experience deep friendship. When I’m truly seen for who I am and still accepted. So even though I’m feeling uncomfortable, I know this too shall pass. That eventually I’ll grow into my new situation. Because I always do. And more than that, I want to.
I dream of a world where we allow ourselves to be uncomfortable. A world where we move beyond the familiar. A world where we keep growing and changing even when it’s painful. A world where we are patient with ourselves as we go through the process. A world where we know growing pains are a part of life and we allow ourselves to move through them.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.