As I’m sitting outside (in this be-ay-you-tiful RVA summer weather), I remind myself that my sophomore year of college is about to start and I can’t help but to think about where I was mentally a year ago, about to start my freshman year. This kind of reminiscing and ruminating typically calls for the phrase: “I’ve grown as a person”
Man I hate it when people say that. “I’ve grown so much as a person since I’ve met you/did that thing/got a new job/went to college”. Growing as a person doesn’t mean in height, which would make sense, if you took the phrase literally. It means mentally, emotionally, psychologically, you know, all those things that only you can measure. I could tell you that I “grew as a person” when I started working at the pharmacy but what I really mean is that I improved my social skills with customers and learned the names of drugs and how unhappy people can be when they don’t have any refills on their prescriptions. Weird little things I know you really care about.
The part that kinda bothers me most is that when someone tells you about how they “grew as a person” it can come off kinda braggy. Like if you came up to me and said “You know, I’ve grown so much as a person since I did that camp helping the endangered whales of off the Pacific Coast for three months last summer”, well I’d be extremely jealous of you at first, but then I’d also be like “You seem pretty much the same as you did before so no you didn’t. And please stop bragging about how you’re living dreams of mine”. You can’t really measure how someone else grows or feels, it’s an internal thing. Also, the bragginess makes people seem immature to me so in my strange mind, it overcomes and beats up the your “growing as a person” in my head and you lose like, 3 hypothetical years.
Even though my first two semesters went by with a whole bunch of whatnots, I still feel pretty much the same. Is “growing as a person” something that kinda levels off at a certain point? Does your brain kinda say, “okay, eighteen was a good year for you, let’s just stay that way forever?”
Even though I may be “getting older and more experienced” (my new politically correct way of saying “growing as a person”), I still sometimes feel like a confused child who needs a hella lot of guidance. So if you or someone you know is selling their little angel that sits on your shoulder and gives good life advice, I’m in the market.