We don’t grow at steady pace. Maybe our cells do, but we don’t. We grow in spurts, in leaps and jumps. We grow, often without even knowing.
After 8th grade graduation, I was incredibly hungry. That first year in high school, I was eating twice as much at lunch. It was hard to miss that I was growing. By the end of 9th grade, I had grown three inches in one year. To my mother’s dismay, clothes in stores were too short for me. We started designing and making what I would wear. I grew two more inches the following year.
My son was the same way. When he would start eating two or three times as much, we would know he was growing. We’d get ready to replace his wardrobe. With my son, just as my mother did, I kept marks on the wall to record how tall he was getting.
My son and I get incredibly hungry about learning too.
We’re saturation learners. We go live in the knowledge. We become whatever it is that we want to know. That’s how I became a dancer, a teacher, a publisher, a blogger. That’s how he mastered stop action video, how he became an award-winning webmaster, how he aced the final on game theory.
Benchmarks for learning are there for all of us. While we’re kids in school, we have report cards. They get us to stop for a brief moment. They get us to know what we know now that we didn’t know then. Classes and courses summarize outcomes to remind us of what we’ve picked up while we took them. In traditional jobs, performance appraisals are set up to get us to look at progess.
We need a reminder to reflect on how far we’ve come in living our lives.
Sometimes we’re so busy living, we don’t stop to see how we’ve grown. We especially don’t see the wisdom, knowledge, and experience. We tend to look at ourselves only when things are going wrong.
One incredibly cool part of blogging is that a blog is a record of where we have been.
This weekend I’m going back in time. I’m going on a walk through my very first posts for the distinct purpose of seeing how I’ve grown. Like I used to with my old journals, I bet I’ll find myself answering the person I was when I wrote those posts.
Every now and then, I need to stop on this road. I need to see where I’ve been, to see how I’ve grown, to let go of the myths about myself that I might still be carrying. That’s how I know where I’m going.
That’s how I make sure I haven’t left anything important back where I was.