The Growing Season

It's uncomfortable to do new things. It's scary to realize that you are not in control. A pretty quote taped to your fridge probably isn't going to help.

“Lean into it, privates!” The drill sergeant looked practically vertical as he stomped up the hill that loomed before us like a small mountain.

It was nearly midnight. We had been marching for hours while wearing heavy rucksacks and shuffling as quietly as we could for 15 kilometers. My arms were numb, and my weapon was tied to my wrists so I wouldn’t drop it.

To keep myself from collapsing, I’d been soundlessly mouthing words to every Disney song and movie musical I could think of. Mulan was naturally a favorite. “Be a man/With all the strength of a raging fire/Mysterious as the dark side of the moon…”

The point of Basic Combat Training is to mold civilians into soldiers. It is an exhausting, painful process that takes about ten weeks. What I didn’t realize then is that life has its own training phases. Let’s call them growing seasons.

None of us are safe from change. It finds us when we switch schools, change jobs, and move states. Change is sneaky. It isn’t always a choice. Loved ones die. Friends leave. Illness finds you. Suddenly, you are facing an uphill battle.

Do you take that next step?

I could get on my soapbox and tell you that your circumstances do not define you. I could shout that it’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. And, I’d be speaking the truth. But, that might not give you the courage to text the guy you like or to move to a new city or to start learning Mandarin.

Sometimes change hurts. It's uncomfortable to do new things. It's scary to realize that you are not in control. A pretty quote taped to your fridge probably isn't going to help.Click To Tweet

Recognizing that you are in a growing season will help. Acknowledging that life isn’t going the way you want gives you the chance to explore new ideas. Because just maybe you weren’t meant to be a prima ballerina. What if your future happiness lies in becoming everyone’s favorite science teacher or the best cupcake baker in town? What if the painful growing season you are in now is the next step to becoming the person you want to be?

You’ve got to lean into that hill. You’ve got to decide to take that next step. And, the step after that.

What do you do when you’re in a growing season?

P.S. If you like this post, you might enjoy Love yourself where you’re at!

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22 comments

  1. This is a very inspiring post! I think that change and growth are essential parts of life that we go through. I’ve noticed that things you may go through and don’t understand now may become more clear in the future. Great post!

  2. This is such a great way to view + approach change. I admit, it can be hard for me to deal, especially when the change is unpleasant and/or unexpected (control freak!), but viewing it as a growing season with lessons to be learned softens the initial blow of, “Oh, shit, here we goooo!” I love that!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

  3. Pumpkins are coming. Pumpkins are coming, I’ve been getting ready for the Holiday Season already lol. I love Mulan also! Change is going to happen and it’s not always going to feel good and that’s ok with me. Love your writing, Ashley : )

  4. Wow I had no idea you were in the military! It sounds brutal Ashley. I think that it is always growing season and I am consistently looking for new chapters in my life.

  5. What a beautiful and delicious post this is. I love this line, so very much:

    “What if the painful growing season you are in now is the next step to becoming the person you want to be?”

    Things we often see as challenges can actually be the biggest opportunities for deep inner and spiritual growth <3
    Charlotte Klein recently posted..The thing aboutMy Profile

  6. Oh, I love the concept of a growing season. It makes me uncomfortable, as much change does, but it almost always turns into something positive.