Growing w/ Grace

Growing up is important for self discovery

Growing w/ Grace

With the strange mix of anxiety and excitement hidden in the background of my mind all summer, the time has come. The first column of the year is here.

When attempting to find some inspiration for a name, or maybe even some different topic ideas, I ran to those who have paved the way. My computer screen was overwhelmed with beautifully-written pieces from Elizabeth Valdez and Sophie McKinney from their years as Editor-in-Chief. And instead of finding an inspirational lede to use or possibly an incredible closing point, I couldn’t get away from the obvious self growth from the beginning to the end of their time at SHS. That visible growth is what ultimately sparked inspiration with this column, bringing the name “Growing w/ Grace.”

In April, the infamous song “As It Was” by Harry Styles was intruding every high schoolers’ Spotify, Tik Tok or phone in some way. The videos of people showing baby pictures and photos with their parents having the song playing in the background seemed to leave more of a personal impact than I assumed it would.

The song played on repeat a couple times before the streams of tears began to overwhelm me. I remember walking into the dining room for dinner and making a joke of the breakdown by saying, “It is just so sad we have to grow up.” And, no, I am not a part of Harry Styles fandom by any means, but this simple song reminds me of easier times from my childhood.

I was fortunate enough to grow up with loving parents and a close-knit family that involved two rambunctious older brothers and a little Shitzu Maltese named Molly. My childhood was nothing short of a loving environment filled with pure bliss and sentiment.

And, for this reason exactly, I question why I begin to get so sad looking through scrapbooks or seeing old family pictures. It wasn’t until I realized that the reason was not necessarily because of missing my childhood, or the fear of growing up. But, merely because I know that little girl inside of me did not deserve all of the hurt she would receive later on in life.

All of the confusion on where she belongs. The feeling of never being enough and having the weight of the world on her shoulders. All of the heartbreak that comes with drifting apart from childhood friends. My younger self did not deserve it, but I did need it to grow.

So, in the spirit of growing with me, I decided to take a look at the past. I have decided to let myself understand that the same little girl that was once so eager to grow up is still here in me. And with that, I need to remember to give her patience and the room to learn.

The process of growing is not always attractive or easy to look at, but it is necessary. And in that vulnerable process of growing, we have to give ourselves some patience and love to get through it in a healthy way. We have to take all of the little signs, like crying to a three-minute Harry Styles song and breaking down in front of your family at dinner, to realize we are putting too much pressure on ourselves.

And in this short life, I will understand that growing and evolving is normal, but also an ever-changing process that is mandatory for me to be the person I aspire to be.