“Once a cheater, always a cheater.” That sound familiar? I’ve heard that multiple times in my 22 years of life on this earth. Especially in the last five or six, where I’ve made some pretty bad life choices that I’m not proud of. However, call me crazy, but I believe in the redemptive process known as growing up.
At 16, I was a meandering fool who was only concerned about which girl I could get next. At 18, I was looking forward to the time when I could finally leave home and start something new. At 20, I was starting to figure life out and was convinced I met the girl of my dreams. And now at 22, my main focus is graduating in May 2016 and again changing scenery. Long story short: I’m not the same guy now that I was 6 years ago. Further, I’m not the same guy today that I was yesterday, and I won’t be the same guy tomorrow that I am today.
You see, there’s this magical thing called growing up. It’s a weird physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual process we all go through whether we want to or not. Some people grow up quickly; others take years and years for them to finally get out of their teenage years. Regardless of the timeframe, everyone grows up eventually.
I’ll be the first to admit my life has been the farthest thing from perfect. I’ve cheated on multiple girls in multiple occasions. I’ve done things I shouldn’t have. I’ve said hurtful things all too often. But I’m changing. I’m growing. I’m becoming the man I want to be. I’m gonna let you in on a secret though: it’s not an overnight process. I’ve always been a big fan of analogies (just ask my dad), so here’s one for you.
Growing up and becoming the person you want to be is kinda like the mountains as the seasons change. Let’s say you’re standing in Loveland, Colorado, in August looking west toward the majestic peaks of the Rockies. You can’t see any snow capping the mountains due to the long, hot summer months in Colorado. Fast forward to September. High elevation snow has fallen, but only enough to dust the peaks. The snow isn’t visible until you’re up in the mountains. October rolls around, and more elevation snow falls, and you begin to see the snow-capping begin. By the time Christmas hits, you can see the snowcaps from miles away. It’s been months in the making, but it’s finally the incredible beauty you’ve come to know and love.
How does this all relate? Growing up is all about progress. It’s a slow progress, but it’s progress nonetheless. Some days will be better than others. Sometimes you’ll have wonderful days that you won’t want to end, and you’ll have days that you want to be over by 9:30 a.m. However, keep pressing forward.
Life was never promised to be easy. Mistakes will happen. But don’t let your shortcomings define who you are. In the words of the song “You Are More” by Tenth Avenue North: “You are more than the problems you create. You’ve been remade.”
These last few months have been rough for me, personally. But I’ve been blessed with a very optimistic spirit, and I don’t stay down for very long. This song has been my anthem the last few weeks since it was first released last month. Take a listen:
“Everyday’s a gift, you got air up in your lungs. Be grateful rain or sun.”
Even when the world seems like it’s against you, you have today to keep pressing forward and proving a lot of people wrong when you become the man or woman you want to be.