While discussing our plans to grow a garden this summer to my friend, I admitted feeling like a dork for being so excited to grow one. I quickly listed reasons to justify my glee. I see it as a great lesson for our kids to experience… the ultimate lesson in sowing and reaping, learning to do work before you see the fruits of your labor, and learning to enjoy food that’s natural and healthy. She surprised me by replying ” well, yeah… why would you feel like a dork for being excited about that?”. Honestly, I didn’t know. The only answer I could give her was that it wasn’t very ‘Chris-like’. Planning a garden was one thing but being giddy with excitement to do so? How much further away from myself could I be? It made me question later… “who am i?”.
In my ever long quest of becoming, my theory has always been if you never grow, you’ll never know. Never know the you that you could be and the you that God made you to be. It’s a rare day that thought doesn’t enter my mind. But it had never struck me that sometimes when you grow, maybe you won’t recognize yourself anymore and you might have to do some soul searching to see the you that has become.
It feels great to grow past the stuff we don’t like about ourselves. To conquer a bad ideal or a bad habit. That feels fantastic. It feels just as great to grow into the person that someone else already sees in you. Maybe that’s a parent, maybe a spouse, maybe a friend. Regardless of who sees it, it feels super to achieve it. But how does it feel to grow out of something that you never saw as wrong? How does that happen?
My idea of growth has always been that of discomfort. Striving and reaching. Shedding a skin that’s become uncomfortable into one that lets you breathe again. So what do you do when you could breath and then you change anyways? How do you feel comfortable in that new skin and not feel like a fraud?
Don’t misunderstand me… I have never been one to be pigeon-holed by others. One of my favorite things is blowing past people’s expectations of me. I love to be underestimated and show the world what I can really do. But this feels different. It feels unnatural, ironically enough. The growth that has come most easily and naturally is the one that leaves me questioning it’s validity. If I didn’t fight tooth and nail for it, can it have the same value? I’d always felt justified by my previous change. I’d been refined by the fires and thereby changed. But if I did nothing, can I still feel good about it? And if I don’t feel good about it, how do I explain it to others?
It leaves me feeling slightly awkward in this new skin. Feeling slightly judged. We always picture the world as considering us as much as we consider ourselves when in fact they rarely do. But I can’t help but feel like if I mention ‘my garden’ to certain parties, the inevitable… what??? will resound. I just like to feel comfortable in my own growth before I force it onto others. Maybe that can’t always happen.
I guess it’s a change in another way for me. Not just a change in me but a change in an idea. Perhaps that’s the part that I have to work towards.