Growing up is just learning new skills and learning how to be slightly better at everything over a long period of time.
Growing up brings us some skills that when we were younger, we didn't feel as confident in. And now we do those things all the time, as part of our routine, and we actually have become more comfortable with them.
Here were some of those answers.
Walking Disaster Area
Walking down the street, realising I was going in the wrong direction, and making a U-turn without pretending to have forgotten something
Same here. My old tactic, since the cell phone era began, was to stop in front of some building, look around like I was waiting for someone, and pretend to call or text that person until I was certain that anyone who might've seen me was well out of distance before turning around.
One Man Show
When I was about 20 years old, I moved into a new neighborhood and really wanted to try this cute little place down the street from my apartment but was solo. Put it off too many nights to admit, until finally said screw it, grabbed a book, got a table and had the 4 course prixfix menu and I loved it! I was super nervous and embarrassed, but ended up having a pretty damn fine time, ends up I'm ok company!:)
Eccentricity Is A Blessing
So many things! Getting older and caring less about what people who don't matter to me think of me has been extremely liberating. I've also learned that most people aren't actually paying attention when you do something stupid or embarrassing, people are usually off in their own little worlds.
I was a very self-conscious and eccentric child, but adult me has fully embraced my weird side, and it's wonderful. I am who I am meant to be, and I'm surrounded by amazing people.
Just A Relaxing Moment
Not really at the present, not since February, but going to the cinema alone. First time I ever did, back in 2016 it felt weird tbh. Even had a mother ask me if I was waiting for anyone when I saw Kong: Skull Island, but now I actually prefer it most times. It means I don't have to worry about scheduling with a friend on what day's best.
Don't get me wrong, I have still gone with friends but 90-95% of the time I go alone, I can do whatever I want before or afterwards, whether to look around the shops or just go straight home.
Having Art In Our Lives
Paint/draw and then share it with strangers. I did not grow up with art and had absolutely no confidence in attempting it. During our quarantine this spring, I taught myself how to watercolor and draw birds and am now selling prints and stickers and donating 100% of the profits to bird conservation groups.
I just love birds.
Body Image Issues
Swim without a shirt on. My sisters made fun of how I looked without a shirt on when I was like 12 and it stuck with me for years. Just the other day I went to the beach and realized that I finally don't care anymore
I feel the same, I avoided going to the beach from like 14 until I was 23 because of this, it came to the point that I convinced myself that I don't like beaches in general. I'm so glad that I was able to finally be comfortable with my body even if it took that long
Upset At Your Feelings
As a 36-year-old male who's been married for 14 years and has two kids, I cannot stress how important it is to say your feelings. Not only for the sake of others you're in a relationship with, but also your own mental health. My natural reaction is to suppress any negative feelings and not talk to anyone about them. Well, 2018 was an extremely difficult year for my wife and me. We experienced a lot of unexpected loss. Estranged parent dying, losing our first dog, friends moving away, and much more.
I never really processed the grief, and never discussed any of it with my wife. This made her feel distant and it plunged me into depression. Having never experienced depression before, it took a long time for me to recognize it. I've been seeing a therapist for almost a year now, and it's helping. I've found I'm at my best and my marriage is strongest when I process things verbally. My kids also benefit because they see a grown man talking about how he feels. It's equally important for my daughter as it is my son.
Don't be afraid of upsetting anyone. Think about this: if they get upset because you feel a certain way, most likely, they're either too emotionally fragile, or they don't care enough to value your feelings. Those types of people should be kept at arms-length.
Public Attraction Number One
Go out in public and be around crowds. When I first started using a wheelchair, I was hyper aware of people staring at me, avoiding getting near me, or acting strange when interacting with me. Decades of being a wheelchair user have desensitized me to all that, hardly notice now.
No Means No
A lot of people struggle with saying no. I used to struggle with it as well. I got a lot of advice to "be unapologetic. You don't owe anyone anything. You don't have to give a reason to say no." That is stupid advice. That is obviously going to harm your relationships.
Instead I realised that "most" people are reasonable. I present my case in a way that the other person can understand and explain why I need to say no. Almost everyone understands and does not want to put you in a difficult situation.
If the other person is not reasonable, there is no point explaining further. Then you just gotta say no. But you need to try to explain first.
Simply The Phone
Talking on the phone. I was cripplingly shy as a teenager, to the point I'd have to script what I was going to say before doing something like phoning for an appointment. Then aged 21 I got a job in a call centre and nowadays I can phone anyone with ease (though I'd never say it's my favourite thing). I'll even complain about shoddy customer service on the phone now! Flood therapy works!