Yes, I am still here.
Life tends to take unexpected turns.
All the while, we search for something. Anything to provide us security, stability, a sense of being, a sense of worth. We find this escape in our work. In our children. In our significant others. In our hobbies.
And it’s all an illusion. Everything is temporary. Everything goes away in the end.
You are not the sum value of the people and things you surround yourself with. Unless you choose to let that define you. It’s taken me a long time to look in the mirror and confess, to myself, that I make my way. Regardless of someone else’s actions, I always made a choice. I choose my reactions, for better or worse. To go, to stay - there is always an alternative. And we tend to lean towards what is comfortable. What is easy.
We give in all to easily to blaming others. We all play a part. And life is not fair - but it isn’t bad either. It is difficult. For some more than others. Adversity builds strength. Wisdom is derived from experience and from failing. And it is all way too short to wallow in the regrets of the past and the worries of the future.
So, this I have learned…
My divorce set me free. As painful as it has been, it has opened my eyes to the simple notion that I deserve happiness. We all do. In everything. Love and life. Surround yourself with those that benefit you, discard all others. Be kind and generous, mostly to yourself. This is not selfish - looking after yourself FIRST helps you discover who and what you are about. From there the charity and altruism build. From there you begin to heal. To develop compassion. Everyone is trying to find their way.
My depression has cultivated awareness. I feel more passionate than ever that overall wellness is a combination of factors that we’re never educated about. We sit in our cubes, eating our fast food, saving for a retirement to rescue us from our lives that are happening right now. Why? The richest country in the world is built on the backs of some of the most miserable, unhealthy people. Our culture and society is falling short, and we trudge along. Punching the clock. Watering the lawn. Hoping that someday we’ll get there. Wherever it is. Well, it’s in your passions, your element. It’s right there waiting for you. Some of us just have to work a little harder to find it. And it is not easy. Actually, it’s pretty fucking difficult. At the end of the day, you have to sit with yourself - and be okay with that.
My anxiety has taught me patience. Everything has a motive, every twitch, tick, nervous moment - there is always an underlying cause. Developing patience with myself has allowed me to take a step back in my most nervous and anxious of moments and ask myself why? I’m in a hurry, I want out of this moment… why? To answer this requires you to go pretty deep. And the results usually are not pretty. To bare your deepest flaws to yourself is to accept that you are human. And allows you to accept responsibility for yourself and develop the patience necessary to begin to at least manage and cope with your fears and insecurities.
For me, it’s all a process. A process of experiences, trial and error. Developing a toolbox that will help me navigate and manage these new areas of life. And in hindsight, I begin to see that every trial, every adversity has been followed by growth and opportunity. The dots connect, and I know that I am always right where I am supposed to be. That there is always something to learn. Always something to be grateful for. And always a choice.