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The Year of Uncomfortable Growth: Outgrowing People

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Iowa chapter.

I’m sure I’m not the first and I won’t be the last to say that this year has epically sucked. At least it’s easy to look at the atrocities of this year, whether that be the rona or personal things going on in all of our lives – because while the world may seem to have stopped, our everyday lives haven’t, and say that it has been all bad. 

It’s easy to wallow in the everything sucks pit, but what I’ve found easier is to look at this year as the year of uncomfortable growth. For everything that’s made me feel like I wanted to crawl out of my skin, I started to reflect on how these moments of uncomfortability, may be the moments that are meant to push me to grow and be better. So in this edition of The Year of Uncomfortable Growth, let’s talk about outgrowing people.  

The Year of Uncomfortable Growth

It’s Okay to Outgrow People 

One of the hardest things that I’ve come to learn all my life, but mainly this year, is that it is okay to outgrow people – even those who we thought would be in our life forever. I think that it seems almost frowned upon to stop being friends with people, but the reality is sometimes we outgrow them. We grow individually and sometimes the people in our lives can’t grow with us. 

Cancel culture has become such a huge thing in society lately and I’ve noticed it even with the group of friends I’ve known my entire time here. I’ll say it, I’ve been canceled by so many people and it has kept me up at night wondering what was wrong with me just because somebody decided they didn’t like me. And it’s easier said than done, but I had to realize that it doesn’t matter if people don’t like me, I’m not for everyone – but I am for me. 

The best analogy I can think of is this – when I was young I used to love these sandwiches with american cheese and mustard on them ~ gross I know ~ and as I got older I didn’t like them anymore. It was no longer a flavor for me. And this year I’ve learned that I’m not the flavor for everyone and vice versa. 

If you have a friend that makes you feel lesser, someone that gaslights you, someone that makes small jabs at you or backhanded compliments and you need someone to tell you that it’s okay to cut them out of your life – hi it’s me, do it. There doesn’t need to be an epic thing that ends friendships either, if you just don’t like the way people fit in your life anymore, it’s okay to walk away. You are not entitled to keep anyone in your life that doesn’t add value to it. 

As a college senior, I know that it’s almost time for me to move on to a new phase of life, and losing friends and people close to me, while uncomfortable as it is, it’s a sign that there is room for me to form new relationships. Relationships that match more of who I am now, the person I’ve grown to become. I think you’ll find once people leave your life, others will start to come in that may not have had the chance too before. 

I think the thing to take away though, is that even if you stop being a part of someone’s life, you should take something from the relationship you had with them. Take away a piece of them you liked or didn’t like, so you know the kind of people you do and don’t want to attract into your life. Or, while it’s hard to accept our own faults in the ending of things, you can take an intrinsic look at yourself and learn how you can become better too. 

I’ll end on this note. It sucks to lose people, it’s hard, but sometimes you have to think about whether the people in your life contribute in a way that makes you better, and if they don’t then there are probably people out there that will. This place makes it feel like the world is small, but it’s not, it’s huge and if you haven’t found your people yet – your down ass homies, who match your vibe, predict what you’re thinking before you even say it, people who make life worth living – you will. 

Payten Little is in her senior year at Iowa majoring in Journalism and Creative Writing. She was the Creative Director for Her Campus at Iowa and loved that she had the ability to curate article ideas for her team, but is taking a step back to focus on her final semester of writing. She hopes to soon move out of the Midwest and to the East Coast to pursue her passion in magazine writing or social media marketing. She believes everyone has a story worth telling and a voice that needs to be heard.