Growing Pains


A memoir of 2017;


This year; I graduated from college, moved back to my hometown, finally got plugged back into a church community that I love, and started a full time job. 

This year; depression and anxiety made its home in me, I became well acquainted with heart break, and I said goodbye to a stage of life that was familiar and comfortable. But this year, I experienced love in its fullest capacity and found healing in a community of people that have felt safe and kind. I was mentored by some of the best people I have ever known, had my very own art show, watched one of my really good friends get married and stood by her side as she said I do, spent a week at camp with a group of girls that I hold closely to my heart, learned the ins and outs of being a barista, turned 22, committed to serving in a ministry that changed my life in high school, and launched this blog. 

This year was monumental because of all the 'lasts' that I waved goodbye to and all the 'firsts' that I welcomed. I learned to feel with every part of my being and to stop condemning myself for my overwhelming collection of emotions. I finally counted my own opinion as valid and raised my voice a little louder. I learned that healing takes a really long time, but I'll get there. I learned that kindness and niceness are not synonymous and that I'd rather be kind. I let myself cry alone to a really good song or a relatable film because it's therapeutic and renewing. I learned that I love rolling the windows down and keeping my music volume at a steady 45. I also learned that I have the best conversations with myself and with God while driving or in the shower. Something about loud music and solitude feels safe and and makes me brave. I learned to exist without the fear and hesitation of being not enough or even too much. 


This year, bravery planted its feet firmly as I finally walked a little stronger and tasted the sweetness of freedom. This is simply a glimpse of the work that God has done in me this year. I ultimately wish to be a testimony of His faithfulness and grace and I hope to extend that same grace to those around me. 2017 was full of growing pains, and for this I am grateful.

As always, thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading. Your curiosity and interest gives me stage fright- the kind of stage fright that is followed with excitement and gratitude. 


Catherine Li