Oxford Dictionaries define outgrowing as “grow too big for (something).” // “leave behind as one matures.” Lately, I’ve been thinking about outgrowing, about the painful experience that outgrowing implies.
We outgrow seasons of life.
We outgrow friends.
We outgrow jobs.
We outgrow places.
I’ve outgrown my college years. Happy as I was then, I wouldn’t go back to them. Because I now see the bubble that college is. I now know the realities of living a more mature lifestyle just as much as I know the joys of it.
I’ve outgrown friends, due to one’s fault really. Because life is like that… kind enough to connect you with people who resonate with you in a specific way for a specific period of your life, but cruel enough to take each of you onto different paths. And that’s okay.
I’ve outgrown jobs; jobs that were right for a specific time in my life: some gave me the warm comfort that came from the longevity and familiarity of it, some pushed me to be brave, to believe I could do hard things, some made me humble, some enhanced abilities for which I am grateful today. But at some point, in all of them, I reached a point where I needed to move on for reasons as different as day and night; but all with the shared reason that I had already learned the lesson(s) I needed to learn.
I’ve outgrown places too. I outgrew my one-bedroom rental in Texas. I outgrew my apartment in D.C. I outgrew apartments in Mexico City. And, though hard to accept, perhaps I have also outgrown the apartment that I have loved the absolute most: the apartment that for four years held me in my solitude and brokenness, the apartment that carried me through many disappointments, the apartment that celebrated a few major, life-changing milestones, but also many—perhaps mundane, but just as necessary—minor daily wins. Perhaps I’ve outgrown Cornerstone #55 too.
But also implicit with outgrowing, comes the (sometimes unknown) blessing of starting new seasons of life, of making new friends, of findings new jobs, of filling up new spaces. Maybe even the opportunity to start all over again, just with the big difference of now being a better, stronger, and hopefully, a kinder version of yourself.