Remember back in middle school when you woke up one morning surprised by acne? Remember constantly knocking things over and bumping into walls because you weren’t adjusted to your awkwardly long arms and new more grown up body? Remember all your clothes being way too big or way too small but never just right? Remember being super emotional about everything? Yeah, not fun. Thank you to all the parents who didn’t kill their children as they transitioned into the teenage years. Y’all are the real MVP’s.
I thought I was off the hook when I came out of that phase, but as I navigate #postgradlife I’m coming to realize that your early 20’s aren’t much different. The thing about puberty is that the changes don’t happen gradually. They’re sudden and it’s awkward and you have to figure out how to live while becoming someone you have never been before. There’s a growth spurt that happens in your 20’s that no one can prepare you for. Life just kind of wakes you up in the morning like, “hey gorgeous! You can’t be on your parent’s health insurance anymore. Happy birthday!” And you just have to deal.
I wasn’t ready for this. I wish I could count how many mornings my alarm goes off and all I have the energy to do is stare at the blades of my ceiling fan. My life is uncomfortable and I don’t feel much different than seventh grade Kaisha except this growth spurt is way more awkward because there’s no “excuse” for adults. No one cares how hard your life is or how stressed you are. You are expected to perform no matter what. This growth spurt has exposed my weaknesses more times than I care for. This growth spurt has taught me that sometimes my best doesn’t get the job done. This growth spurt has forced me to swallow my pride. It has taught me to take an “L” with dignity. It has taught me to show up with my game face on even when everything falls apart. It’s taught me patience. And there is absolutely nothing pretty about any of those things.
But you know what? I don’t need pretty. It’s overrated. I’d rather have beauty. Pretty is flawless. Beauty is scarred, and cracked, and marked with character, illuminated by the light that shines from within. Beauty is an essence that can’t be smothered. I know that God is a masterful artist, so when the pieces of my life that I’ve carelessly thrown together fall apart I expect nothing less than for Him to remove the excess and put it back together again.
So if you asked me how I was surviving this round of puberty I would say: surrender. I fully trust that whatever I experience is for a purpose and I embrace it and everything that comes along with it. I like to think of this time as a metamorphosis. Kind of like a butterfly. A caterpillar has everything it needs to become a butterfly. It just has to go through the process in due season. It has to wrap itself in that cocoon, digest its own body, and rebuild itself. It’s an exhausting process. When the butterfly comes out of the cocoon it holds onto it while its wings and body dries and it regains its strength. Then, and not a moment before, when it’s ready it takes off.
It’s all part of the process.