“Often it’s the deepest pain which empowers you to grow into your highest self.”-Unknown.
I believe in growth.
I strongly believe that in order for an individual to experience growth, they must push themselves-or be pushed- out of their comfort zone and experience new situations and thus, inevitably, new hindrances. Whether this brings upon success or defeat, the mere experience of an impediment causes growth, which stems from unfamiliarity and discomfort.
Growing up, my reality was my comfort zone. My parents would work long and hard hours and I would frequently be left with my grandma, who filled the empty void of parental guidance, as best as she could. She also worked long and hard hours to instill values in me and guided my upbringing. She told me stories and encouraged me to write my own. She was ,first, my shield and protection against imaginary ghosts and monsters, and then, against real-life ghosts and monsters. She was my familiarity. She was my comfort zone.
All of this was stripped away from me by one phone call, one doctor’s visit and a piece of heartbreaking news . She had cancer and would begin her chemotherapy soon, away from me. Every day, I was used to coming home from school and being greeted by her warmth and positivity at the door. I had to become used to having no one there, when I came home from a long day.Seeing her in that delicate condition with her face as pale as the white walls of the hospital, and her hands shaking uncontrollably, was far worse than her absence. She still faked a smile, but I could see the pain lingering behind the whites of her eyes, and she could see mine. I had never lived one day without her and there I was; making monthly visits to the hospital. Not only was I dependent on her, my younger siblings and cousins were also accustomed to her presence, as she was a parental figure to all of us. I felt like I had the obligation and the responsibility to direct and comfort the younger members of my family,while suffering internally and locking my feelings into a dark, cold place.
Although she was the one enduring the physical pain, I felt like I was bestowed the burden to reduce her absence, whilst dealing with my own loneliness. I was torn apart, but just like a muscle, I had to be broken apart before I could grow back stronger. The aching, the despair, the grief and the plaintive cries were all essential for my growth and transition into the individual I am today.
Although it most definitely did not seem like it then, I attained many valuable skills, positively developed my personality and character, and was essentially molded into the individual I am today. I learnt how to cope realistically with situations that I had no control over, because I spent almost a year employing unhealthy ways to deal with my overpowering emotions. Since I was constantly taking care of my younger siblings and cousins, not only did I become independent, but I also developed basic cleaning, cooking and caring skills. As well, a shift occurred in my worldview, where I adopted new values, opinions and beliefs. Due to this experience, I began to believe in selflessness, courage, confidence and cherishing those temporary moments and people.What I believe in stems from these personal situations that challenged me to become the best version of myself; I believe in growth, which essentially becomes the source of everything I believe in.
Those situations you deem to be misfortunes, are the greatest forms of knowledge that educate you about your discomforts, your level of resiliency and acceptance, and add to the complexity of your identity. The delicate hands of adversity sculpt, layer, tear, and mould you as if you were clay, causing imperfections and impermanence. This impermanence is the essence of growth, and the constant building up and tearing down is what defines you, to such an extent that you unknowingly apply the aftermath of your past mistakes, to your future behaviors and endeavors. When encountered with an unfamiliar or discomfortable situation, an individual is forced to delve into the depths of their conscience, which inevitably results in one or many forms of personal development. I believe that this is fundamental to the development of one’s composite character and identity.
I believe in growth.