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Growing up – it’s an interesting thing. Whether you are entering highschool, going into college, entering the full time work force, or finding yourself in a brand new marriage – all of these life stages involve something new and an element of “Growing Up.”
Growing up is a good thing, and we can’t avoid it (though some try very hard *ahem*) and it also can have an effect on recovery – both positive, and negative.
Our goal this month is to talk about how we can use growing up as a way to help our recovery, while also addressing some of the ways it may impact it negatively and how we can address these issues.
For me, one of the biggest challenges I faced “growing up” was the transition from University to full-time work. I went from being around community constantly (in class, with professors, and at campus events), to having almost no community at all. This was made especially difficult because I work from home.
What I learned quite quickly is that everyone can have community, but it takes work.
And for people who are homeschooled (as I was) or work from home (as I do now), sometimes it takes just a little bit more effort. But like most things that take effort, it is so worth it.
There are several things that I did:
First of all I went out and found my own community.
I did this by joining different small groups at my church and also by simply picking up the phone and initiating. We live in a society focused on the immediate – where we are and who is around us in the moment – and this often results in people not taking the time to initiate much. So rather than take it personally, or fall into the same trap, I started calling people to hang out and make plans – and, go figure, it worked!
I also stopped saying no to things and started showing up when I was invited.
People will pick up on your queues, and if you always say no to things, sooner or later you will stop getting invited. Sure, in the beginning you may find yourself attending activities that maybe wouldn’t be your first choice (like “nature” stuff *gulp*) – but first of all, you may have fun, and second of all, at least people will know you are interested in doing things and hanging out. So don’t get in your own way!
And lastly, I made the decision to get a job that was more social.
For me, this meant going to get my makeup artistry certificate and taking a job at a local beauty boutique. But the possibilities really are endless – even if you take up two shifts a week at a local grocery store, at least you are around customers and coworkers and it’s a great way to balance out the time you spend at home working on your schoolwork/other jobs.
Now the girl who used to run away from community as fast as she could has fully embraced it.
I stopped running, turned around, and walked straight into a community and I don’t regret it for a second.
I think we are all in some phase of “growing up” at any given moment – and I hope at least one of this month’s articles will speak to you and the situation you are in right now. And if you can’t relate quite yet, maybe you will in the future, so take note.
Growing up and facing new stages of life can be frightening; but if you are equipped, it doesn’t have to be.
Remember: we’re all in this together!
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