I've outgrown you.


I balled my eyes out after my last Little League All-Star game. Though just a kid, I knew it would never be that good ever again. I knew that the time where softball would cease to push me at the top of my competitive level was nearing its end and it caused me to preemptively mourn the loss of that feeling.

Nobody thinks any different when you offload your no longer needed items at the Goodwill, but where do you dump your cast-offs when you've outgrown them? Like, say careers, friends, or cities? How do you gracefully do that without upsetting your social scene? The answer is: you can't. There's a lot of emotional mourning in growth and most people aren't up to that kind of commitment from themselves. For most people, it's easier to stagnate, except that it isn't really. Long-term growth requires short-term pain whereas staying idle becomes a nagging daily reminder of what you could have been, and for someone like me that becomes a prison sentence. One that I felt it for nearly a decade. 

As Americans, we are taught to continually consume and collect shit we don't need, so when it becomes time to rid yourself of the stuff you really don't need you are far too buried under 'stuff' to even know where to begin. So we stay in the same place because to move would mean starting with mountains. We normalize everything to justify our behavior because we simply can't see a way around those mountains because there isn't a way around. You have to head straight through them. And that's a lot of work. And it's painful.

I cried A LOT when I quit working behind the chair doing hair. I invested more time into that career than any relationship I'd ever had, and for a long time, it was mutually beneficial until it was not. It started to become repressive because my industry refused to grow at the rate I decided to, and I had outgrown it, leaving friends, cities, and a career behind.

But the mountain is out of the way now; my future looking brighter than the past. Which begs me to ask myself: what's up next now that the path has been cleared?


RECOMMENDED READING: The Obstacle Is The Way, by Ryan Holiday.


Mandy Zelinka