Embracing the Journey of Growth and Self-Discovery
If I could go back in time, I would love to have a cup of coffee with Past-Me (while Present-Me drank herbal tea instead and, of course, worried about the space-time continuum). My younger version was genuinely intrigued by the uncertain, unfolding direction of her life, but she secretly wondered if this was all life had to offer. She knew she needed more. Way more.
In our heart-to-heart that would risk breaking time itself, these are the four essential lessons I’d love to share with her:
- Embrace the fluidity of dreams: Yes, you absolutely can do all the things you secretly dream about, but they might not happen in the timing or way you imagine. My best advice would be to stay open to the dream but don’t remain committed to only one path for its actualisation. Dreams evolve in time, space, and nature. Let them. And let them be free in your grasp — free even to run away and come back to you completely different. You’ll recognize them at the right time if they’re truly yours.
- Appreciate the power of smaller steps: Sometimes, the smallest keys open the largest doors (this one is courtesy of my dad). And sometimes, those unassuming back or side doors are the entry points to an even better, unexpected journey. Remember, there’s always a version of the dream that can begin today, as scaled-down as it might be (this one is courtesy of my husband). Cherish the opportunity to grow and learn, even if it’s in the tiniest of ways.
- Embrace the discomfort of growth: You may never get used to significant, intense periods of growth. It’s always initially uncomfortable, and your comfort zone may never die peacefully. The bigger the upcoming season, the more resistance your comfort zone will likely dish out. Take this as a great sign, but learn to differentiate between that feeling and the one guiding you to a “No.” They both may make you feel sick to your stomach, but only the “Yes” will excite and intrigue you amid the nausea.
- Learn to love the little “No’s”: The “Yes” you entered with can break into a series of little “No’s” thereafter. This tends to happen when the first overwhelming “Yes” was only meant to open you to a new path. The subsequent “No’s” are directional guides: the clarifying, refining agents for your dream. These little “No’s” are your friends — learn to embrace them and not be discouraged by their sudden presence. It means the dream is clear about its own manifestation. Half the work is done.
To anyone who struggles with bringing dreams to life, especially the ones you feel are now beyond your grasp or even age, I hope these lessons will remind you that dreams are never lost. They’re as much a part of you as the heart that beats within you. Stay open to their call.