“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything” – George Bernard Shaw
Originally this post was titled “Change” and I intended to write about how people can change a lot, but how I feel some things (core values, your core personality) never change at all.
Usually when I write I have an idea in my head and the words seem to come automatically.
Sometimes, however, I get stuck and I am literally at a loss for words. This happened tonight when I was trying desperately to blog something about changes. It was worse than ever and I ended up thinking where I had gone wrong. And halfway through my unpublished post “Change”, I decided it wasn’t the right topic nor title and I (pun!) changed it to “Growth”.
I think I got confused at first. You see, I changed a lot over the last years and I still am. But I forgot that it’s not merely change; it’s not just the old Sam transforming into a new Sam. It’s more than that. It’s deeper than that. “Change” just doesn’t cover it. “Growth” does.
Life is like that little pepper plant in the picture: you get what you need to grow into the person you need (or want) to be. It’s a slow process and it doesn’t happen overnight. There is change involved, yes. Because you change from a small blossom flower into a tiny green fruit (is it a fruit?), and finally into a red-hot chili pepper. But during the changes that occur to you, you learn and grow wiser, older. Riper.
I am not the person today that I was ten years ago. Not even the person I was last week, or yesterday.
But I am me. The basis is still intact, I still have personality traits and ideals that are typical for me as Sam.
I am still obsessively in love with giant pandas ;) My favourite colour is, and will always be, yellow. And I doubt I’ll ever stop having trust issues or stop feeling uncomfortable around new (or a lot of) people. That’s all part of who I am: a crazy Dutch girl, with a passion for writing and a love for travelling the globe.
But everything around that core me, the way I dress, the way I think, the way I react to people, is open for change. It’s open for growth.
That shy girl who didn’t even dare to go to the mall alone when she was sixteen? She’s now giving sports lessons to groups of ten to fifteen people. That’s unknown, scary, in-the-past-I-would-have-been-so-terrified-and-uncomfortable-I-wouldn’t-have-been-able-to-look-at-them-people.
The young woman who didn’t dare to drive in a car for fear of… killing someone? (I’m not sure what it was I was afraid of, to be honest. I just got super panicked every time I had to drive somewhere by myself.) She now drives around like a boss, from client to client, never once panicking if she has to go to a new, unknown address. AND she’s mastered the art of driving with an outdated GPS system. Pro me!
You see how I am right, right? About my title mistake.
It’s not just change. Anything can change. It’s growth what I am really talking about. It’s growing as a person, expanding your horizons every day. It’s learning new things and pushing yourself to higher limits. Forcing yourself out of your comfort zone and seeing what you’re really capable of.
And unlike that pepper, you don’t have to stop when you’re all grown up. That’s the beautiful secret of life and the mystery of man: we’ll never fully comprehend either. But it won’t stop us from trying. And growing.