Some changes stand up and smack you in the face, you just can't ignore them. Like the year that I shot up nine inches between seventh and eighth grade. Technically it was over the course of two summers, but all told, I went from being the runt (one of three girls under five feet and less than one hundred pounds) to falling right in line with everyone else.

5th grade choir.
Can you see me on the front row?
Apologies to anyone that recognizes themselves.
Front row again. Why?
You wouldn't be able to see me otherwise.
Other changes are more subtle. Slow growth over time, tiny changes day by day. These take you by surprise. Where you look back and think, 'when exactly did this happen? And how did I miss it?'

Our house right before moving in.

If I had to choose one kind of change over the other, I would surely choose the first. I'm all about instant gratification. I need things to move quickly. I want to see results. That's why I'll never be one of those people that work out. It just takes too long.

Present day. The trees have filled out, the sod has taken,
and we've painted the exterior.
But, that subtle change? It's probably the best. It's change in the truer sense of the word. It's more honest and earned.

I'd like to think that I've changed lately. That I've grown. That the changes are so tiny I might not be able to see them yet, even in myself. I like to think that I've grown a thicker skin. That somewhere along the way, I've grown into the adult that the number on my driver's license represents. I hope that my recent setbacks have not been in vain. And that the opportunities that lay before me are doorways to untold adventures and not giant steps in circles. I hope that looking back on these weeks, months and years will make me laugh, make me cry in a good way and make me see that I am growing after all. Like the little trees in my yard  – stronger, fuller and reaching for the sky.