© 2014 Lynsey

Deeply growing

When a child first catches adults out — when it first walks into his grave little head that adults do not always have divine intelligence, that their judgements are not always wise, their thinking true, their sentences just — his world falls into panic desolation. The gods are fallen and all safety gone. And there is one sure thing about the fall of gods: they do not fall a little; they crash and shatter or sink deeply into green muck. It is a tedious job to build them up again; they never quite shine. And the child’s world is never quite whole again. It is an aching kind of growing.” ― John Steinbeck, East of Eden

There’s been a lot of it around this year. Growing, I mean. So many people I’ve met are changing up and moving on. It’s often been exciting watching them change. A few people have said cheerful farewells to mortgages or retired from jobs they’d come to loathe. Others started new jobs, or found somewhere new to live. Some people have chosen to make the often painful choices of moving away from the comfortable places and people into their new futures. Others intentionally cut lose from toxic people and situations and began, almost mouse-like, to build a new and better world. And still others found their familiar worlds thrown to one side as growth, unsought, came to them.

Through all this growth a fairly common thread has emerged.

“What’s something wrong with me? Oh, it didn’t work, I did something wrong. I didn’t get the job, I must’ve said something wrong. I’m not good enough. I can’t do this. I failed. I made a mistake. I was stupid. I should never have done that. I wish I hadn’t… idiot!”

I think the worst is the silent grinding grimness that comes from when people think things not working and they just bottle the muck up.

Except the things are working.

It is as Steinbeck says, “When a child first catches adults out — when it first walks into his grave little head that adults do not always have divine intelligence, that their judgements are not always wise, their thinking true, their sentences just — his world falls into panic desolation.”

When you’re trying out something new – a new job, a new relationship, a new life – you’re kind of like a child. You’re all new and fresh, soft and tender. When you run up against “adult” with their tough business suits and weird jargon, and you bump your nose on their crusty turtle shells, for some reason you feel somehow bad about yourself. You could’ve tried harder. Been better. Right?

Here’s a little advice from what I’ve learned along the way:

1. You are good enough already.
2. Don’t look back.
3. You are good enough already.
4. As Led Zep says, there’s still time to change to road you’re on.
5. You are good enough already.

No, really. You ARE good enough already. Get up and get on with what you are doing. Stop comparing yourself with others. Stick to your knitting, your plan, the programme, and any other thing you should be sticking to. Stop sticking and squelching around in the muck. You need to get on with growing in your own way, even if this does mean things don’t work out quite the way you had planned in the first instance. That’s ok. That’s how you get better at planning. And it doesn’t really matter, because, you are good enough already.

Just try to stay away from turtle shelled adults in the future.

Manifesto
23. Every day retain your personal power. It belongs to you. No one else.
27. Every day pain is a sign of growing.
37. Every day fight for what’s worth fighting for. Pick your battles.

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