“I’ve Outgrown You…”

Ever look back at a situation and go”man, I’m glad I don’t have to deal with that anymore?”

I was talking to a lady friend about her recent changes and it caused me to reflect on my own whirlwind situations over the past year. She talked about how she switched gym instructors and she feels that much more comfortable in her new space. She stressed how supportive the new gym was in that other members were focused on working out; how more interactive with her workouts the instructors were with monitoring her workout and being more constructive and consistent with their feedback. She mentioned her experience of having to go back to her old instructor during crazy holiday scheduling at the new gym. Her takeaway: while she was able to get a good workout in at the old gym, she was glad she stopped going there now.

It made me reflect on how I walked back through my childhood home and the first neighborhood in the Bronx I lived. It was great to do the trip down memory lane in each case but at the end I was struck with that same refrain: “I don’t miss this at all”. Now, there were parts of those experiences I cherished, but in its entirety, I don’t miss a lot of the experiences I’ve had in those spaces.

The same can be said for people as well. There are some people I really care about that I’ve met in my life course that currently aren’t in my orbit. While I do treasure the experiences I had with them, I don’t always miss them – not strongly enough to force them back into my orbit. Does it make me a villian with such an approach? As usual, it depends on who you ask. But I have no problem doing it that way either due to my perspective after reflecting on these relationships.

Some of us fake outgrowing a situation/someone/something. People have all sorts of reasons for this sort of approach. Ever seen that person who left a job and came back to shove their newfound “success” in people’s faces? How about that person who takes their new partner and parades them in front of an ex? How about that person who could never do anything right in the eyes of others who somehow pulled it together and now have a fabulous life? There is something to be said about outgrowing a situation in this way that reeks of “I did it and you cannot do a damn thing about where I am now” that feels quite vindicated.

Still, sometimes people talk about going back and doing things differently or trying to recreate lost magic. Maybe that’s appropriate and there are times the best core of action is to treasure the experience and si ply move upward and onward. To me at least, to truly have outgrown something/someone/an experience doesn’t denigrate it; it simply means you may have come to terms with its significance for you.

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