Growing up is hard. This I am most certain of thanks to my early twenties. The term growing pains…well it’s more than just a physical pain we have from our teeth coming in and our legs growing taller. It’s the pain we have when our life is in complete transformation.
And I for one have been experiencing some major growing pains.
There’s this term in psychology referred to as post-traumatic growth I’ve been thinking about quite a bit. A quick Google search defines it as a positive psychological change experienced as a result of the struggle with highly challenging life circumstances. Posttraumatic growth is not simply a return to baseline from a period of suffering; instead it is an experience of improvement that for some persons is deeply meaningful.
Life can become a great mess if choices and plans don’t go the way we hoped for. Then life throws challenging circumstances in our paths that we don’t even know how to begin to fathom. Growing pains can make you feel like it’s a struggle to even breathe, wake up, and bare the emotions were experiencing. Almost everyone you meet is dealing with some sort of trouble. Perhaps you’re experiencing one of those moments right now.
I haven’t posted a blog in a few months for multiple reasons. I was stuck. I had bloggers block. The honest reason for my absence however, is the simple fact I didn’t know how to say what I wanted to say. And if my twenties have taught me one thing, it’s simply that if you can’t explain or wrap your mind around something, most likely you haven’t learned the lesson yet.
So I waited. I wrote one page at a time, in my little journal that was given to me a year ago before I set out for my year of “wandering.” A year in which I created this blog. If you’ve been following my blog from the beginning you know that I began my year away from university after my Moksha/Modo Yoga training in British Columbia. Following that, I started my adventure of self discoveries in the only place I felt right… Prince Edward Island.
I could go into all the itty bitty details about how I ended up taking time away from school, what drove me to become a yoga teacher, how life threw intense road bumps along my journey, but that would take forever. The last two years, which are the first two years of my twenties, have made me question with every ounce of my body what my purpose for this beautiful life is. The path has oftentimes been difficult and left me with more questions than I had answers to.
When it came June, I knew my year of wandering was coming to an end, so I set out to close the chapter where I had started it all, in Prince Edward Island.
Spending six weeks in our family home, alone, in the country, leaves a lot of room to find what those answers are. Yep, I said me, myself, and I. Bat sh@@@@@t crazy I know. I had an old- school home phone, VHS tapes, piles of ancient photo albums, rows stacked with books my grandfather had collected over the years, and of course my yoga mat and my journal. So I sat. I practiced. I breathed. I slept. I wandered around the island. I wandered through the creaking house so vividly full of memories, deeply breathing in the scent of an old wooden house that had been closed up for the winter. I took my time, brushing my fingertips along the edges of old books stacked in bookshelves, glass figurines, and taking long glances at framed pictures containing years of memories. I took long walks, taking in the smell of fresh air and ocean breeze…sometimes even stinky fish and seaweed.
It’s one of the only places that endures complete stillness. It’s one of the only places I’ve ever known that is utterly quiet, and yet it’s almost as if the house itself speaks to you through pictures, squeaks, and memories. The red cliffs with all their rigid marks from years and years of waves crashing upon them have remained bold with beauty. It’s a constant reminder that life is constantly throwing waves of transformation. It has a gift of helping you let go of a delicate wound, a heartbreak you can’t give up on, a profound loss that’s left you feeling empty.
About a week and half before I had booked my flight to leave, my family and I had decided to start a new tradition while on the island to stay up at least one night and watch the sun rise. Despite the fact I was alone, I decided I’d still keep up the new tradition.
So I stayed up…delirious for the majority playing with African masks, riding around in my Grandfathers wheel chair and just having a time being a complete goof. When 5 o’ clock rolled around, I stepped out on the top deck as quietly as I could. I had never seen the world so still. Quiet. The rest of the world was peacefully asleep, and it was as if I was the only one awake. I felt awake, truly awake. All of my worries, doubts, and problems didn’t seem so real anymore because it was just the breathtaking silence, the sunrise, and me.
The lesson, that life nugget I had been waiting for that entire year, finally came to me, and it was simple. It struck me that maybe life can be as peaceful as dreamers paint it to be. Maybe we’re just the ones that give into the chaos surrounding us by clinging to things that cause us pain. We all want things to stay the same. We all wish we had the ability to go back to a specific moment and just freeze there for a little longer. Moving on, letting go, loosing loved ones, growing up is most of the time painful. We’re scared of change because growing pains are hard. We’re terrified to free fall into a place where we honestly don’t know what the future holds.
That morning, I left my delicate wound, my profound loss, my heartbreak to finally be what they were- a closed chapter to part of my story. Something I fought a year to acknowledge. Some people may think that’s insane to hold onto something and someone for that long. Maybe it was silly, maybe it was unrealistic, but maybe it’s a testimony of just how significant that love was.
This year of transformation, wandering, seeking, and self-discoveries may have been rocky and heartbreaking at moments but it’s only one chapter to my story. I intend to write many, many more.
Life is for strange adventures.