For me, growing up has been a distillation process.
For so long, I simply existed, doing, and saying, and being without a distinction of who I was, what I liked, or what I wanted to be. I instead let myself be told all those things, and it was comfortable and easy existing that way.
Through higher education and life experiences, I realized I was hollow like a reflection in a mirror. There was very little substance to my character, besides what I thought the people I surrounded myself with wanted to see of me.
I was a reflection of what other people needed, not questing whether or not that person was who I wanted or needed to be.
Upon this realization, I made change in my life by simply picking up a felt tipped pen, turning to a blank page in my giant art pad, and deciding in the space of an hour how I wanted my life to look.
A few bullet points later and I had a start. I had an understanding of what I liked, and what expanded my heart and my mind.
From that moment forward I have shifted like a wave break, ebbing and flowing and changing my mind a million times. In that chaos I have realized one thing: growing up isn’t simply acquiring knowledge. Its toeing the edge and distilling from all this information the person you are.
For some of us, there is no difficulty in staking claim on your life and your opinions. For others, like myself, it takes years of questioning, putting your foot down, and refining the person you would like to be in any given moment.
I’d like to think that during this process I’m acquiring highlights and desires, character and distinction. I’m developing undertones and flavor. That thought is enough to make the chaos of being human feel a bit more intentional.