I know, I know. I've already written a blog post on growing recently, but it seems to be the most prevalent thing in my life right now. This week I was faced with the very harsh reality of outgrowing things. Not only did I have to face facts— I haven’t bought summer shorts in about 2 years and, well, most of my things just didn’t fit right anymore. But also, a lot of other things in my life aren’t fitting right anymore. My childhood bedroom, for example. The idea of forced family vacations. My anxiety, although I haven't quite figured out how to shed that one. Lastly, and most surprisingly, my job at the Minoa library.
In order for you to understand how huge that last one is, I have to give you a bit of backstory. I started at the library in January of 2014, just a few months after getting in a car accident that left me hopelessly depressed on our living room couch, not wanting to go anywhere, do anything, or see anyone. I got the job as a means of shutting up the people in my family wondering what the hell I was doing-- why I wasn't actively pursuing school, why I was still "letting" the accident effect me. If I have a job, I thought, they'll shut the hell up. Since then, the library has become something of a security blanket for me. Throughout all the ups and downs of choosing to do or not to do school, it's been there as my backup. I'm working, I said. But somewhere along the line the library became the stable job I did in the off hours of the rest of my life. I started going places, meeting people, and doing things.
In my time at the library I:
Wrote, filmed, acted in, and released a short film.
Wrote, filmed, edited, and acted in a web series about the library, with the help of the most amazing cast and crew.
Met amazing new friends who are the creative squad I've always dreamed of.
Figured out who I am, and how to show that to people.
Officially started classes at a college that defies all my expectations of how nightmarish college is-- a place that appreciates and accommodates the type of student I am, and enables me to learn in whatever way works best for me.
Met a boy, and began my first real relationship.
I'm so sad to leave this library because, as I tried to convey in my web series, so much life has happened there. I was depressed, I was happy, I made friends, I had existential crises and mental breakdowns, I was sweetly and disgustingly in love. But for better or worse, I've outgrown it. It's a security blanket that I know I need to leave in order for anything to change, for anything to move forward in my life. And since I don't want to be the kind of person who just complains about things being bad and never makes the hard decision to change anything, I'm leaving. I start my new job at a bigger library on August 8th, and I'm utterly terrified, but hopeful that it will permit me to move forward.
But outgrowth doesn’t have to mean terrible things. It can be good. Outgrowing your fear, for example. That hasn’t quite happened for me yet, but I’m watching the people I love do it. So instead of calling it "outgrowing" I want to call this period in my life "overgrowing." Meaning I've grown past the expectations, the situations, and the life I’ve lived for so long. I feel like so many of us are overgrowing the lives we are in right now. We’re overgrowing our current situations, like sprawling plants out of their pots. And that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It doesn’t have to be taboo. We can all just be due for new pots- something we can grow into, something we can build a future on. I see and feel this overgrowth in many of my friends right now, and I’m hoping these next few months mark drastic change— where we demand the right sized pot and fresh soil from which to grow larger, stronger, and brighter.