“Life is a lively process of becoming”-Douglas MacArthur
Do you remember what you wanted to be when you were a kid? Perhaps a teacher, a doctor, a ballerina or all of the above? What was it for you? Do you remember what or who you wanted to become?
Kids exude joy when thinking of the possibilities of who they could become as they grow older. Their imagination runs wild, the options are endless. One moment, being an astronaut is the dream but then the next, becoming a dancer sounds like a much better idea. Kids are encouraged to explore, learn and grow the best they can. They are certainly allowed to change their mind about what they want to be when they grow up without any shame or guilt. They have a sense of freedom, the sky is the limit for kids.
But what happens as we get older? We no longer give ourselves permission to explore and to learn more about ourselves. At some point, we decide who we need to become and put pressure on ourselves to pursue this one thing and nothing else. But why? Why do we lose the sense of freedom kids possess? Why not continue to explore and evolve and accept that as our reality?
My Own Experience
As a little girl, I remember constantly changing my mind of what I wanted to be. There were days I was determined to be a teacher because I knew I liked to be in charge (Who doesn’t right?). My own teachers made it so fun for me, so becoming a teacher was a no-brainer. Other days, I was certain being a cosmetologist was my thing, no doubt about it. I imagined myself doing hair and makeup with friends and everything would be perfectly okay. And you know, this little girl didn’t stress over needing to make a decision, at least not quite yet. I was free to explore.
Of course, as the years went by, that stress and pressure started to creep in. Who will I become? What will I be? What will I do? On boy, all of the sudden, I was faced with the crushing reality that I was no longer free. Now, I had to choose the one thing I needed to become and there was no turning back. That’s the way life was supposed to be, right? I believed that once I had made my decision, nothing else was possible.
For me, it was the pressure of becoming a certain professional only after graduating college. If I did not go down this path, then I was for sure failing. I determined my success and my worthiness only if this plan worked out. Life had a different plan for me though, things were not happening the way I had envisioned. God, the Universe, my creator knew what I needed more than I knew myself. I did not understand this plan, but what I do know, is that it was meant for me to continue to know myself in order to grow myself.
Embracing Who I’m Becoming
“Becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self.”-Michelle Obama
Life has turned out very differently than what I had imagined as a little girl. It has taken me time to adjust, to accept and embrace all that life has given me. With every new experience, situation or challenge, I give myself permission to choose what is best for me. Now, I am understanding that growing up and becoming who I’m meant to become is not finite but rather a continuous journey.
I have learned to have grace and embrace this woman I am becoming.
This Journey Doesn’t End
Life will continue to give me different opportunities to learn, grow and evolve as a mother, wife and most importantly, as a woman. Through all this, I choose to embrace the woman I am becoming as I understand it’s more about finding out more of who I am and “fulfilling the highest truest expression of [myself] as a human being”-Oprah.
Please remember, you have permission to change, to evolve and embrace the woman you are becoming. Life is about being in forward motion, enjoy it and embrace it, as our journey never ends.