By Spriha Pokharel 

Growth is never an easy process. No matter what anyone else tells you about it, growth won’t immediately lead you to the light at the end of the tunnel. More often than not, it will be filled with excruciatingly painful and uncomfortable situations, emotions, and realizations that 9 out of 10 times you won’t want to go through, which is understandable; because honestly speaking, why would one willingly put themselves through all of that agony? And even after you’ve grown and learnt your lesson, what about the emptiness that comes after the feeling of outgrowing something that you were once so attached with? 

Discomfort is the birth of growth, or at least it’s what I’d heard other people say. I decided to test this theory out a few months ago when I committed to step inside a situation out of my comfort zone. In the beginning, everything felt new and thrilling but it wasn’t until a few weeks in, that the uncomfortable parts started kicking in. I remember feeling distinct emotions of anxiety, fear, vulnerability and at times even inferiority that lasted over 6 months. Eventually, there came a point in time when I had felt so much of this overwhelming emotion that I didn’t know what to feel anymore; leading me to my first realization that maybe I’d just simply outgrown that environment. 

Outgrowing a situation meant that growth had already taken place, but where exactly was it? The second realization didn’t come as easily to me. It proposed the idea that growth is not physically tangible, nor instantly gratifying; which is why when you’re actually going through it, it’s inevitable to feel stuck at times. After I’d become what you’d call an epitome of realizations, I got reminded of my initial commitment to this particular situation. I thought growth was hard, but growing inside an environment that you’ve grown out of was even harder. Developing a change in perspective and reminding myself that the very moment I decided to jump out of my little bubble was when growth started allowing me to regain patience towards that situation and faith within myself for how far along I’d come.

In the very beginning, I asked why one would willingly put themselves through the pain of growth. This is exactly why. Because even if the tunnel initially feels never-ending, and you slip back and forth a couple of hundred times before actually reaching the light, you’ll always come out of it. You’ll come out of it stronger, wiser and glad you took the risk. The very situation that made me spiral into my worst also taught me the importance of how growth is not always rainbows and sunshine, and that the days when the clouds are a little greyer than usual also has its own set of lessons to give out.