Personal growth and learning

A drawing of a tree with several words and phrases of personal growth written on it.

For May’s personal growth meme I have written about some doors that closed during lockdown, linked an older post where I did a personality test and explored my strengths and weaknesses some more. I believe we all continue to grow throughout our lives, from the day we are born, to the day we die. But, I also believe we all grow in different ways, inherent to our personalities.

An example of teaching myself something new

I first got in touch with my best friend back in 2005, when we both were on weight loss journeys and members of an online club. We had walls — much like Facebook — where we could share personal stories, and things I shared inspired her to send me a personal message. We were mailing with each other for about three months when one evening we met each other at our weight loss club, and shortly after made an appointment to see each other as friends. I visited her at her house, and when I drove back home I felt uncomfortable. I had a wonderful afternoon, but something felt off. Not with her, but with me.

The same happened the second time I saw her, and as I drove home, something started dawning on me, and shame washed over me. You see, my friend asked me so many things about my life, and I happily told her, but I barely asked her something about hers. I was appalled, but upon some introspection, I realized I had never been someone to ask things that I felt was too personal, but I never minded when someone asked me personal things. Still, I didn’t want to let my new friend think I am not interested in her, and the third time I saw her, I went against my own personality and asked her some personal questions. I cringed as I did so, but she didn’t mind. I think we were friends for a year when I told her that I really made an effort to change my way of conversing, and she had to laugh so hard, because she never once thought I wasn’t interested.

We can all learn

I am still that person who have difficulty asking personal things, but I am a lot better than I have been before, because I made an effort to learn something that didn’t come naturally. I always saw it as being respectful to not ‘pry’ in someone’s life, and I still do, but there is a fine line between being respectful and coming across as disinterested, in my opinion.

What I want to illustrate with the example above is that we can all learn new things, which make as grow as a person. We can all unlearn bad habits and change them into good ones. You can learn to do things that are not part of your personality. To some people some things come naturally, but not to others. I have seen this in my son, who has autism. Personal interaction, such as in conversations, is a challenge for him, but he has learned some ‘tricks’ which makes it easier for him to start and keep up with a conversation.
(Please note: I know it’s not the same for everyone, and am simply talking from personal experience, and personal beliefs.)

My way of learning

I am always willing to learn, but I need to learn at my own pace. This goes for things that are happening around me, as well as things that make me grow as a person. I can’t be forced into learning something new — that just doesn’t work for me. I have frequently said/joked on here that I feel like I am always the last to ‘get’ something, and I described that as ‘living with my head in the clouds’. However, I know this is just part of who I am, and this is a part I can’t change. How can you learn to ‘get’ something quicker?

No, I need time to understand things; to see the bigger picture. And to see the bigger picture, I need to understand smaller pieces first. This is why I say I have to learn at my own pace. I need to digest the smaller pieces, and in time I will understand the bigger picture, and the time span depends on what it is I need to learn.

Recently a thought has been going round and round in my mind, and I have never mentioned this to anyone, not even Master T. You see, at times it really bugs me that I am always the last to ‘get’ something and I started wondering where this comes from. A thought started forming: is it possible that I am on the spectrum too? And then the next thought: do I want to know? That is something to ponder…

Personal growth questions

May has asked a couple of questions I shortly want to answer:

  • Have you dedicated time to something you are passionate about or worked on creative endeavors? Absolutely. Here I think about going to painting class or when I was appointed manager of a department, I studied for my bachelors. I wanted to have the proper theoretical skills to do my job.
  • Do you have a self care routine to assist your development? No, I don’t. I just sort of let the thoughts go through my head until I clearly see the steps I need to take.
  • What about taking the time by yourself to reflect how you feel and act. Setting goals? The answer here is more or less the same as the previous one. I keep on thinking and thinking and once I see the steps I need to take, I set goals for myself.
  • Have you tried meditation or activities that take you slightly out of your comfort zone? I have tried meditation, but that’s just not my thing.

© Rebel’s Notes
Image from Pixabay

Life Matters

5 thoughts on “Personal growth and learning

  1. I agree with you that we are always learning and should see things that happen as opportunities to do so. It is interesting what you say about your friend and about ASD. I think social situations can be difficult and I found it interesting that you had a feeling a couple of times before realising what it stemmed from. I have always found you good as asking about me and you have always felt supportive in terms of your questions. I wonder if online is different though as people seem to be a bit more open and a bit more direct. ?

    1. I think online might indeed be different, but also I have learned some ‘skills’ over the years, ever since I realized back with my friend that I communicate in a different way 🙂

  2. Great post Marie – I really love the bit about your best friend and changing your ways to jeep the connection. That was very brave of you. I have tried meditation too – and it was not my thing at the time – it does intrigue me though
    May xx

    1. I really believe we can all learn new things, even if it’s doing something that doesn’t come naturally. For me this was a big thing, but for my son to find his way in the world with his autism was even bigger, but he did it, and he is still learning new ways to navigate through things he doesn’t understand, but know is the way the world works.
      As for meditation, indeed, it intrigues me, but to try it again… I think I don’t have the patience, haha xox

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