Personal Growth Can Be a Wonderful Thing, But It Can Also Sometimes Mean Losing People

a dandelion flower that's gone to seed that's lost most of its seed and is very bare. Beneath the photograph is a caption that reads "Loss"
Image by John Morgan / CC BY

People tend to talk about personal growth in rather glowing terms, like it’s always a desirable goal. Something to be worked towards. Commendable.

But the truth is that the outcome isn’t always rosy, at least not in the short term. The most important growth usually doesn’t come without some sort of cost.

The hardest part about figuring yourself out is that you can’t always take other people with you. You can’t force them to challenge the same paradigms or have the same epiphanies. If you figure out you’re something different than what you thought you were, it can have a way of upsetting everything. And sometimes, upsetting everyone.

If you change, you change. And the people in your life, even the ones who care about you deeply, don’t necessarily follow.

This can be difficult, can cause you to wonder if personal growth is worth it if it means that you can’t take anyone with you.

I’ve asked myself the following many times: Is it better to never challenge yourself but always be accepted? Or to strike out into the scary unknown, risking everything?

Because just like you can’t communicate well enough for two (or more) people, you can’t work hard enough for two (or more) people. And you certainly can’t force them to challenge their fears.

I Can’t Teach You Any Magic Words, Because There Aren’t Any

We want it to be simpler than it is. We want easy answers that don’t exist.

I wish I had them for you. Hell, I wish I had them for me. But I don’t.

I don’t have any magic words, any way to guarantee that you won’t ever meet with hardship. That you won’t ever lose someone or something that you love.

Any promises I could ever make in that regard would be empty. They’d easily placate you. But via deception. Dishonesty.

And I’m not willing to lie to you.

All I have at the end of the day are contingency plans: Ways that you can strengthen yourself so that if and when things do go wrong you can deal with it a little better. Plans B, C, D, through Z. And instruction in methods that will help you to build infinite alternatives for yourself.

I’m sorry if that’s not enough. But it’s what I have.

And if you’re willing to learn, I’m here to teach you.

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Books by Page Turner:

A Geek’s Guide to Unicorn Ranching

Poly Land: My Brutally Honest Adventures in Polyamory 

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