Growing up can be a tough thing to go through. Maybe not at first because when imagining it, getting older seems to be full of excitement and trying new things. It is often synonymous with going to new places and meeting new people, likely with a worldview and perspectives that differ from your own.
But then it can hit you, and sometimes that hit is pretty hard. Being placed in different environments with unfamiliar people can be challenging and nerve-racking. Being on your own often makes it harder.
Gone are the days of being reliant on someone else to guide you through problems. Gone are the times that you didn’t feel dependent on just yourself.
You become frustrated with the universe for giving you the control that you longed for, but suddenly can’t seem to manage on your own.
And so, you enter a foreign field where everything seems new.
Your old way of looking at things is suddenly different, and you begin to be a little more cautious of how you spend your money or the way you say things.
You meet new people, but the kind you never expect to meet. They are different from your best friends at home and don’t understand your jokes. They can find your sayings and expressions weird. You handle situations differently, more cautiously knowing that your parents may no longer be able to fix it. You are grown up now, and everything is different – strange and uncommon.
This newfound self-reliance can seem confusing and difficult at first. It may be hard to understand different perspectives, to balance priorities, to make time for both friends and work. It will take time and patience, as well as an adequate amount of determination. But the balance will come.
To walk through foreign fields.
Long and far, challenging and wide. They’re the kind that make you stay up at night and yearn for familiar land and settings, for familiar people. Foreign fields can also change you, maybe unknowingly.
Your friends back home can see it, your parents and family think it, and you can sometimes feel it. When you walked those foreign fields and discovered people different from yourself, you may have picked up some of their mannerisms while emitting your own. You may have interchanged sayings, adopting what you liked and disdaining what you didn’t.
You’ve felt the good, the bad, and all the little things you wanted when you thought the words “growing up.” They all lie uncensored and some undiscovered at your feet. Each come with their respective stories and experiences to take from.
A newfound freedom has also been discovered which may be hard to navigate. Maybe you don’t know what to do with this freedom and the time that accompanies it, but you want it to be productive and worthwhile.
Take time to figure out your own desires in life, incorporating all of what you’ve learned about yourself from the individuals and places around you. Foreign fields can be a place for learning and growth, not just about other people and their perspectives, but your own as well.
Here’s the thing about foreign fields. You never know which one you’ll wander into.
You never know which one leaves a big enough impact to shape the remainder of your path. When you do cross, you might be so nerve-rackingly anxious that you hesitate and no longer want to enter.
But the great thing about foreign fields is that someday they will no longer be foreign to you. You’ll fill them with your own memories and experiences. They may just become a home. Each embeds a little magic within your body and mind that make you tougher, stronger, and a lot more knowledgeable. It’s probably not one of the immediate things that you thought of gaining while growing up, but it’s one of the most worthwhile.
Also published on Medium.