growing pains

    We all have underlying insecurities, fears, doubts, and thoughts we rarely admit to anyone. Recently I have been facing a lot of mine head on. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’ve taken so much time to focus on myself through therapy or because I’m finally tired of being oblivious to what’s inside. Either way, it’s happening and the only way I can sum up my recent discoveries would be: growing pains. I am growing a lot and it’s painful even scary at times. Having the ability to watch how I respond to that fear and pain has also been a blessing and a curse. Cause you know, I could choose to say, “Yeah, I’m just insecure about that” and be done with it, but my analytical self just can’t be ‘done’ with that and be expected to get a full night’s rest. Most people can, but I can’t. I need to know why. Is anyone else like this? Does anyone else feel the need to psychoanalyze themselves, their lives and everything that happens to them? I surely can’t be the only one. I really enjoy getting down to the origin of things. It helps me understand something/someone and I’m able to show more empathy. It also helps me feel less alone. I know that at the end of the day, we are all humans and we are all broken in some way. I shouldn't celebrate corporate brokenness, but as humans, we are inherently selfish so I’m glad other people know pain like I know pain.

    I’m not one for cheesy love movies, but a while back my roommates made me watch “The Fault In Our Stars.” The movie is based on a book written by the infamous John Green, and there was a line in the film that is so true. The line is, “That’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt.” That is one of the simplest and truest things about pain. You can’t NOT feel it. Eventually, it will creep into your life and absorb you. For me, I have noticed parts of my heart that are still wounded from my own childhood/adolescence, and parts of myself that I didn’t realize have changed from the pain that I have experienced within the last couple years. Life moves so fast and it’s so stimulating that you rarely get the chance to even notice how your heart is doing. You don’t realize that you have this pain inside of you and it causes you to be the way you are. What’s even crazier than not realizing you carry this pain inside, is the idea that if you were aware of it, you also carry the control to overcome that pain and not allow it to change you.


    For example, I have only ever been in one serious relationship my whole life. It ended almost 2 years ago. Now after that relationship ended I took an oath to myself to stay single for at least a year. Then when a year came around (and it came fast), I realized I still wasn’t really ready to open myself up to another person. So, I took another oath to really just stay single for as long as I need to be. No time limit, just whatever I need. I can now look back at that first year and say it was a time for me to allow the pain to be pain, and see what life looked like without that person. This second year has been a time for me to cope with the idea that it is truly over and my life can be so much more. I also have been able to focus more on myself and all the things I can turn my life into. It’s great, you know? Moving on and doing something for yourself. Movies make it look magical. But the thing about heartbreaks that I feel like is rarely shown is the mark it leaves in your life even after you have stopped crying, thinking, and missing that person. The mark that is always there even when you yourself are in a whole new place. I guess if I were truly 100% healed from it, I wouldn’t feel this way but sometimes marks are ugly. They change you. It’s like a scar. You get a scar on your eyebrow and now for the rest of your life, hair doesn’t grow in that place. People can see the scar. It becomes real when you put makeup on, cause you come into physical contact with that scar. I feel like for me, I have a scar on my heart. That sounds so lame, but it’s true. I have noticed how this scar changed me. I’m more introverted. I’m less likely to be open to the opposite sex. The idea of doing all of the hard stuff (trusting, opening up, etc…) terrifies me. I am more reserved. I get anxious and insecure and I retreat to a lonely and sad place. I don’t know why, but I do.

    This is something I am now observing within myself. How pain from a relationship almost 2 years ago, still lingers in my life and because of that it has changed me. Most of the things I have taken from the last 2 years are great, I won’t discount that. But not all of them are, and I am not going to hide those either. This is an area of my life I need growth. I know facing those insecurities, and coming to the reality that the pain that followed the break up has left a mark on me will be uncomfortable, even scary, but it’s needed. I type these words and struggle between the ‘delete’ button and the ‘enter’ button because a part of me knows this is the best thing for me, and a part of me says “but who for?” I don’t have any new love interests poking me to overcome something. I don’t have a new job requiring me to become a more confident and whole self. I’m not experiencing trouble terrain in any of my friendships. Things around me are the same. Nothing prying me to be better really. No one asking me to let them in more, or trust them more, or anything more than what I have been giving. But do I need someone/something to ask for my complete healing and freedom in order to strive for it? No. I don’t. I need it, because I need it.

    This is just one example of the discoveries I have made about my own insecurities, fears, and doubts. You see an area of your life you could really work on, and you choose to work on it because you just need to. You want to be whole, happy and healthy. You’re like your own life coach. Getting yourself up early so you can be productive, forcing yourself to sit down and think about what’s really going on rather than just scrolling through Instagram to distract yourself. Asking yourself to look this pain in the face and dig deeper even though no one cares if you do or don’t. I have been doing that recently. Discovering so many new things. It’s uncomfortable, painful, awkward, but mature to do for yourself. It’s surprising what I find and I feel like I’m getting to know myself better and better. I’ve become more self-aware. I now feel like I have a better chance at having a really healthy and happy life. Healthy relationships, friendships, career paths, and more.

    Not a lot of people strive to be both happy and healthy. I’m not talking about physical health. Most people strive to just be happy. You know? “It’s a messed up workplace but at least I’m happy.” “Yeah we don’t communicate correctly and I have trouble trusting him, but at least I’m happy.” “Yeah, she’s flaky, but when we hang out I’m happy for that moment.” I wish people would strive to be happy AND healthy. Have friendships that are honest and reliable. Relationships that affirm you and give you everything you want and need. Love beyond what you think you deserve. Careers that challenge you, require you to give back and do good for the world. Families that love and support and guide each other without malicious intent. These are the things we should strive for. In order to have that in our life we need to first become healthy ourselves. How do we do that? We face all our demons and we let the growing pains be growing pains. We let our ears get hot, our hands get sweaty, our voices get shaky and we just overcome it. WE have to. I wish more people could see it this way. You need to face it all and then get over it. After all, pain demands to be felt right?

As Told By,


Amanda Smith1 Comment