What brings about the changes from what we were in the past to who we are today or what we will be in the future?
If personal growth is quick and sudden it can change everything. You can end up being someone you don’t really know anything about, and the things you have now are absent in that person you have become – like a different person altogether. It’s the kind of change that, when you really think about it, you’ve always been wanting; someone who exercises more, is more driven and goal-orientated, makes an active effort to travel more, or whatever you’ve been wanting to change for so long.
But then there’s that slow kind of growth; a gradual ascension, if you will. A growth based on the hardships, joys and experiences we go through that ultimately knead and mould our very being. Looking back at my life up to the day I moved to England to further my education, I thought I knew it all and had experienced it all; from the little things like enjoying a game of football on a concrete pitch, to the big things like celebrating special moments with a closely-knit group of friends or basking in the warm love that a girlfriend provides. Quite frankly, I believed I was on top of the world. I believed that I had changed into the man I will be for the rest of my life; a man that I foolishly thought I could be proud of. Now I refer to that affair as my “V.I.S. bubble”; a bubble engineered from the rudimentary and inadequate experiences from my years at the Vienna International School. A bubble that had to be burst.
Leaving home to further my education brought about this gradual yet immense change that I never expected. Living on campus, meeting all kinds of people, experiencing a see-saw of emotions from heartbreak to finding new love, from absolute elation to doubting myself, from anxiety to relief, and so on and so forth; all of this changed who I am. Only then did I realise that we never stop evolving; we will forever be students of life.
I believe that the best kind of personal (r)evolution is the kind that doesn’t involve alienating your former self for the new you. A reminder – like a shadow that trails behind you – of what you’ve gone through to be who you are today.
– F. Ifram