The Pain of Growth


An op-ed piece


Most of the time I am amazed that my kid is not in a constant state of crankiness.  I've already bought two pairs of shoes as he hits growth spurt after growth spurt, and one of the only things I love about summer is that I can dress him in shorts which don't show off so blatantly how quickly he gets taller.  Two more blissful months of shorts and then it's back to pants which have a 6 week life span from looking like pants to looking like pedal pushers.  It has been awhile since I myself was a kid but I still remember the constant throb in my legs as I grew taller and I remember it was a pervasive low-grade annoyance.  

 I tell myself that growing leads to fun things

I tell myself that growing leads to fun things


As I embark down the path of being coached by Destroy the Hairdresser, I am reminded of that pain experienced from youth of being in a state of constantly growing.  It makes sense; if I wanted to lose weight, exercise wouldn't exactly feel like a rainbow unicorn sandwich.  If I wanted to build an addition on my house, my wallet would scream in agony.  But I was still surprised at the fact that the weekly selfwork and paradigm shift that is being asked of me has given me pains.

It's hard.  It's hard to approach repeating situations with a new perspective.  It's hard to tear the Instagram filter that covers my life off so I can take a good hard look at what is really going on.  It's hard to hear lessons that I don't agree with and yet tell myself 'you WILL mentally work your way through this instead of slam down the 'I don't like this so it must be wrong' barrier.  

Going back to my kid, who is in the 95th percentile for height.  He'll hit 5' before the end of the year and he's 8. I am constantly running to the store for new clothes.  That's not the end of the work though.  Because if I don't also separate and bag up old clothes that don't fit anymore and get them out of the house, my husband will grab something from that pile and I'll come home from work and see my kid in hot pants (shorts that are for 5 year olds) and a midriff shirt (size 4T) This actually happened on our vacation; Max looked like he was about ready to go walk a beat on the Boardwalk.  

I hope that analogy makes sense.  It's not just about doing the selfwork, it's also about getting rid of the old stuff that just doesn't fit anymore.  That's a huge part of the growing pain.  I don't want to just donate the old clothes; I used to set them aside and tell myself I can make an extra $20 by selling them online.  They would inevitably rejoin the laundry cycle and my kid would some day wind up getting his balls racked in undies that were 3 sizes too small.  Those outgrown items now immediately leave the house.  Same with old work habits that I want to break.  It's not enough that I make new daily lists and tasks for work, I have to stop doing the things that have kept me stagnant or held me back.  Sometimes this means saying no to working for free for my salon.  Sometimes this means learning new apps that are up and coming even if I have really started to hate online Influencers.  (Although the fact that my word program does not recognize Influencers as a real world does make me feel better).

Growing is painful because there are new parameters to live by.  Kid grows up and gets more responsibilities.  Plant grows and needs more water.  My career as a stylist grows and I have to establish new standards and practices.  If a task makes me uncomfortable, I have to decipher if it is because it truly is unacceptable or if I am opposing growth.

Right now my growing pains are finally building a professional website for myself even though I never really wanted one.  Right now my growing pains are my frustrations at figuring out templates on Squarespace because not knowing how to make it perfect immediately means I am a dinosaur.  Right now my growing pains are fitting into my new role as a color trainer and making sure that outfit works on me.  

Some of it hurts.  But most of it feels good because I know I am growing into something instead of languishing.