An emotional person’s musings on…growth

Growth is painful, disorienting, and you feel like everything you knew had been built on sand. Here’s what I’ve learned about it.

2018 started as a chaotic, lonely, disheartening year for me. However, I ended the year the opposite of where I began. For a while, I’ve been wanting to write about everything I learned that year.


There’s no growth without vulnerability

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A big part of why last year ended up so fantastic for me is my friends, who are a second family. No person is an island. It’s extremely difficult to change on your own. But change is a lot easier when you have other people giving you their support and different perspectives.

For me, the hardest thing to do was learning to be vulnerable. I still find it hard to be open with people, because I’d be putting myself in a position where I could be hurt. But if we’re not vulnerable with anyone, there would be no way to make meaningful connections. Brene Brown did a Ted Talk on vulnerability that I found very relatable.



Growth, like periods, is a painful cycle

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I sort of cover this in my post on sadness when I talked about finding power in being sad.

We sometimes get to a point in our lives when we’re satisfied with everything. Then, we look around and see that the world is much bigger than we thought. So we realize that perhaps we shouldn’t be so satisfied. So we learn new skills, set new goals, have tons of new experiences…and then we’re happy where we are again. But then, we look around again and realize the world is even bigger!

And that’s the cycle of growth. Each time, we go through pain and maybe even shame. But each time, we come out a better version of ourselves.

Think about that SIA song where she goes “I see another mountain to climb, but I got stamina.”



The worst thing you can do is to stop growing

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The world is a ginormous place! But I’ve met people who were happy to live on a tiny marble. 

I’ve had people in my life who couldn’t accept that the world is so much bigger than their own opinions and experiences. They never really challenged themselves, tried to understand different perspectives, or confront their fears. It seemed like they were content to stop growing, and at a young age too!

Anyways, they’re not in my life anymore and I truly hope they live with fulfillment.

The way I see it, we have limited time (even if you’re like me and have convinced yourself that you’re 19 forever!). The world can offer so many different sights, thoughts, friendships, loves, experiences, passions, foods…so why limit ourselves to living in a tiny marble?



One of the morals I live by is that I want to always be growing and paving my own path. And I’m so glad to have finally shared this post.

So questions for you…what is something you’ve learned about growth? Do you think it’s ever justified to stop growing? Why or why not? 


Hugs and kisses,


You can also find me on my personal blog


Author: Jin Cao

I am a multi-faceted designer, fashion blogger, makeup enthusiast, lover of cats, and connoisseur of ramen! Writer of Main fashion writer of Find my work at

9 thoughts

  1. Jin, thank you for such an open and honest post. I have been reading your posts for sometime….find them to be getting better each time. Love the picture with red heart sculpture surrounding you. fitting image for the post!

    Personally, I learned to realize the importance of PROCESS over RESULT. As all of us are dealing with so many todo’s in a day, trying to fit one more item to our already jam packed schedule, I am learning to stop in the middle of the day to just breathe, instead of trying to cross off one more item from our todo list:)


    1. I’m really glad you enjoy my posts! It means a lot to me that you’ve stuck around (:
      Process over result is a good point! We wouldn’t have any fun if we were constantly stressed out and rushing everything.


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