I’m having a growth spurt.
No, I’m not getting taller (sadly). This growth can’t be empirically measured, and I’m having trouble explaining it to even my closest friends. Yet people I barely know have told
me that I seem different. It’s true; I am.
I feel calmer, better able to laugh at things that not long ago would have made me fume. Where has it been, this perspective that has eluded me for decades? Confidence has crept in at work, replacing massive self-doubt. Even criticism from others, once enough to bring me to tears, has become an opportunity to take an objective look at myself and politely (or not) disagree.
I find myself knowing exactly what I want – and what I don’t. I do what I need, like spending half a day snowshoeing and having lunch with a friend – rather than what I should (tackling my long list of house projects).
I’ve embraced spontaneity. Recently, this flexibility brought me a week full of social engagements with friends new and old, some predictable and some surprising, but all of them bringing joy into my life. This week, I’ve organized my bathroom drawers and picked up a favorite book whose content had faded from memory. This quiet time alone brings joy, too. What have I missed, living a life that must be planned?
I grieve for the opportunities lost, but miraculously, I don’t regret. The roads we travel are rarely smooth or straight, but they take us to where we are. Take a different route, end up at a different destination. No, this peace has been hard-won and well-savored. There will be setbacks ahead, but now, I feel equipped to ride them out.
I have often quipped that I didn’t know what I wanted to be if I grew up. Yet BAM! Here I am, an adult inside and out. It feels as though these changes happened almost overnight, but in truth they have been in the works for decades, lurking in the wings out of sight. In the last eight years, pieces of my old life have been falling away, but I am only now letting them go. The form that remains is the genuine me, freed from fear and others’ expectations.
It seems only fitting that I’ve arrived at this point – finally – in a Leap Year. So today – on Leap Day – I will celebrate by taking my own leap into my future, as I leave the past behind.