Growing into one’s self

Winston Churchill once said that, “Solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow strong.” That’s the thing, isn’t it? *If* they grow at all?

Solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow strong

Tree in the West Village

Me: Winston Churchill once said that, “Solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow strong.”
Him: Well that’s the thing, isn’t it? (thinking) “If they grow at all?”

Had lunch with my coach the other day and we were discussing this kid in our class. He’s one of the only teenagers we have and we all look out for him for various reasons. The life of a bullied child is a lonely one.

As luck would have it, tomorrow is Winston Churchill day so I thought the quote fitting.

Remember that scene in Forrest Gump where Forrest truly runs for the first time and realizes that the heavy, metal braces that held him back as a child let him run faster and longer than anyone else as an adult?

It made him antifragile.

Without belaboring the point, there were times when I was younger that I didn’t think I’d make it to adulthood.

I’m glad I stuck around because Churchill was right; I’m stronger because of my childhood rather than despite it.

Me: What are your thoughts on dive bars with wings?
Claire: I feel hugely positive about dive bars and wings.

Thought of that again as I had dinner with my friend Claire the other night. She said that she had a friend that grew into himself after college. I think that’s a good way to put it.

The lucky never realize they are lucky until it’s too late.

I should mention that while Claire, who moved here from LA, and I have written and chatted to each other for years, this was the first time we actually met in person.

Her: I’m glad you’re as nice in real life as you are over email.
Me: (laughing) I try to set the bar really low.

Life is made more bearable by the good souls.

As for the kid in our class, I hope he makes it past these hard times. If he can, I hope he’s the better for it.

As for me, my childhood seems farther and farther away these days. I’m turning 40 next week.

Still trying to process my thoughts on that.

Location: last night, my fave dive bars
Mood: sleepy
Music: I was a lonely soul but that’s the old me
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15 replies on “Growing into one’s self”

[…] Me: Is this too dark a conversation? Him: (thinking) It is dark. But interesting and more meaningful than all of the other conversations I’ve had tonight. Go on. Me: Duress and pressure aren’t necessarily bad things. Carbon under immense pressure makes diamonds. Great things come from pressure. If you survive it. […]

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