I made a video blog awhile ago that I never posted because the sound wasn’t matching up with the video and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it so I’m going to try again, with the written word. I feel like this needs to be said because most of my close friends are going through difficult times and I have dried up my emotional resources. I have been crying at work every day because nothing I do it say helps them and a little voice at the back of my head is, once again, trying to tell me that I’m not good enough, that I’m worthless, that I don’t matter. But none of those things ate true. I know that now and I refuse to let those thoughts win.
I am enough. I matter. We all are and we all do. So this is for my friends. And this is for everyone out there who may feel lost or hurt or sad. You aren’t alone. I’m here.
This whole train of thought started with the stars. Do you ever look at them? Really look at them? They connect us in a way that we can’t even imagine. They are the same stars that your grandparents looked at and the same ones your grandchildren will look at and the same ones someone on the other side if the world sees. They are the past, present, and future. And what’s even cooler is that by the time their light reaches us they are usually already dead, so its like we are looking into the past while seeing the future. And we are all a part of them. The cosmic dust that falls to earth becomes a part of us is some small way.
We are all the same in that we are different. We get to made decisions and think and feel and form our own opinions and love and even hate if we want to. We are all beautiful creatures and…we all hate each other. We do. We hate the very thing that brings us together. Just because someone has a certain political view or believes in a different religion or has more money than you or less money than you or lives on the wrong side of town or…anything. We find all these different things to dislike about each other instead of seeing how beautiful it is that we can each be completely different from each other. We are unique. Each and every one of us. We are ourselves, and we can’t be anything else. So we judge. And we find something in others that we don’t like. And we dwell. But life is beautiful and amazing, just like us. But we don’t even like ourselves; we project our dislike onto others because, well, because we’re human. We are told that we aren’t good enough, or that different is bad. But guess what? It isn’t. Different is beautiful. We all have flaws. We all fall in love with the wrong person. Few of us are content with where we are in life. There is always something lacking in our lives. And that’s okay. But I think, what isn’t okay, is to hold onto all these insecurities and “downfalls” and allow them to fester.
I used to be so depressed I went to bed every night hoping I wouldn’t wake up and not just because I didn’t like my life or myself, but also because I couldn’t come to terms with the fact that nobody else in the world seemed to either. There is death and destruction everywhere. We start wars based on beliefs someone else has. Shakespeare said, “there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” And I think that is true. I won’t say that war is good, that is definitely false, but it was thinking that lead someone to think that a war was needed. Shit just is. Someone is going to believe differently from you but that isn’t a bad thing until you think it is. Now, it took me years to get to the point I finally reached a little over a month ago, but now that I’m here life is fucking fantastic. But that quote helped. Every thought I had put me where I was. I held on to every damn thing and turned it into a negative and I will be the first to admit that it was in no way healthy.
I’m not positive what it was but one day it just clicked and suddenly I understood what I needed to do, what I wanted to do, and how to get there. It may not work for you, but it may help you on the way to your own personal clarity. I finally realized and accepted that I can’t change the way people think, feel, or act, but I CAN change all those things about me. Instead of looking at everything in my life under a microscope and analyzing it I decided that everything I have ever done lead me to the point I’m at; a point that I’m not exactly happy with but at the same time could be much worse. I have a roof over my head, a job that doesn’t totally suck, friends whom I love dearly, an amazing family, and hope. I hold on to hope with every essence of my being. I truly believe that I will get exactly where I want in life simply because I want to. The truth is that nobody else will get me where I want to be, I have to rely on myself and guess what? I’m pretty frickin reliable!
Sure, life sucks sometimes, but when I get in that state of mind I just laugh it off and remember that life happens. All around us. Every day. Every moment, every memory, every experience is ours to keep. And we get to decide what we do and how we do it and what we take from it. We can take all the bad or we can take the good. Being broken up with sucks. Especially when you know they have gone back to someone else or are still in love with someone else. You tell yourself you aren’t good enough. You spend hours every day trying to figure out why that person is better than you when you KNOW they aren’t, when the person even told you that you were better! But you can’t change them. You can only change yourself. You can know that they missed out. Cry. Scream. Be angry. But don’t hate yourself. Because it isn’t you and you will never understand. You won’t understand because it doesn’t make sense. It just doesn’t. Love doesn’t come with rationale. Love is passion and stupidity and intuition. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. At some point though, you have to realize that you will be okay. You will! Your heart is broken, true. But it will heal. And that scar will be there to remind you that you hit bottom and clawed your way back to the top crying and broken and in pain and unsure. But you did it, and you can do it again. The best part? You have all those memories – the good and the bad – to remember forever. The bad you will learn from, the good you will smile from, and together they will continue to build you and mold you and create you. I always told myself that I wasn’t good enough. I always fell into that trap. But I am good enough. I’m perfect, in fact. Perfectly imperfect because I’m me and I make no excuses for it. Nor should you because you are also perfect in all your imperfections.
Every day is something new to look forward to. You get to wake up and live however the hell you want to. This morning I was down and struggling because of my inability to help out my friends; nothing I do or say seems to make them see anything in a positive light. But then I realized that all I can do is continue to be there for them, continue to shed that positive light on every damn thing, remind them that they are amazing and I am lucky to have them in my life and everybody else should feel lucky too. I can’t fix them, but I can be there for them every time they fall. And that goes for everyone out there – if you are the one hurting or if you are the one helping a friend out, always know that someone out there has been through it and someone out there wants to help. Whatever you can do is good enough. Right now I can’t do as much as I would like because, as I said earlier, I have given a little too much and neglected myself. I am grumpy and easily angered. However I have realized this and decided that this weekend I will go on a small trip (more on that in another post) just for me so I can recharge, refocus, and come back ready to face any problem that comes at me or my friends.
If you are stuck in a rut, unhappy, depressed, confused, hurt, or anything other than happy take a moment to reflect on what happened to get you where you are today. Was life shitty? Is life still shitty? Every day come up with one reason to smile. Mine is generally excessive amounts of coffee because no matter what I can rely on there being coffee somewhere. (Seriously, you have to start with the little things.) If you are mending a broken heart, start off telling yourself that you aren’t done forever, simply that now wasn’t ya’lls time. That one day you will be together again. It may or may not be true, you honestly don’t know, so why not believe that it will happen? That’s how I got over HIM. I started by believing that one day we would find each other again, and eventually rationality stepped in and I realized that HE wasn’t my one, but that meant my one was still out there and if that isn’t a happy thought then I don’t know what is!
Smile because you get to decide. Smile because you aren’t alone. Smile because you have friends. Smile because you are alive. Smile because…it confuses people. Just start with a smile. Then you can move on to turning one negative into a positive every day. I started out small and am now able to do it with everything while at the same time annoying the shit out of my friends with my unstoppable positivity! Soon I will have rainbows coming out of my ass. It’ll be beautiful!
Anyway, I will leave you with a few things to remember:
The thing about goodbyes is that it’s the beginning of a new hello.
Broken hearts mend and become stronger.
Scars are there to remind us of what we’ve been through and what we can handle.
A smile can fix your day.
Positive thoughts help not only you but the people around you.
Life is beautiful. Live it. Enjoy it. Love it. Because you only have this one, so why not make it great?
And, as usual, I have to sign off with something completely insane even though this was mostly a serious post…May your days be filled with syrup chugging contests and buckets full of water, glue, and glitter filled water balloons to throw at those particularly annoying people you may encounter. Remember to always sing in the bathroom, never let anyone see it was you who emptied the coffee pot, and keep glitter handy to throw at people – water balloon or not.
p.s. These photos came from another blogger I discovered via Facebook. You should check her out: A.D.D. Music Mamma
As I sit at work, staring past my computer, daydreaming about a far away place where the water sparkles and the foliage spills over and I sit sunbathing on a rock, listening to the world around me, I am often jolted back to reality by the honk of a horn; the squeal of tires; the cacophony of an emergency vehicle zooming past – and I wonder, where are all these people going? What are they doing? Are they happy? Do they know if they are happy? Do they ever focus on their happiness or sadness or…mundane-ness?
Sometimes when I’m driving I completely zone out until I realize I have reached my destination and I wonder how exactly I got there. When I get in that zone I’m wondering where I am taking myself, why am I going here? To meet a friend? But why? To pay to eat less than satisfying food and have a drink and talk about nothing? To feel a little less alone in the world? Don’t I want more than this? I know I do. So what am I doing to change it? I can’t do much to change my activities – most of what I want to do requires money. But I am trying to change my outlook. I feel best when I am helping others but I keep being told that in order to help others I have to help myself first…
I recently realized that I am keeping myself from the things I love because I have been depressed and unwilling to force myself to go out and have fun, or do the activity that I have been jonesing to do for awhile. I miss him and every time I try to tell myself to move on, to focus on myself he pops back into my head, reminding me of how much I miss what we had; the way he made me laugh; his hugs. It is incredibly difficult. More difficult than I ever imaged. I have been through some pretty rough times and those were easier to overcome that this is proving to be. But, apparently, in order to love you must first love yourself. I would like to say that I do love myself, but I have realized that on most days I struggle with it.
Ideas like: I’m fat. I’m ugly. I’m worthless. I’m incapable of everything. Nobody will ever love me again. My friends don’t really like me, they just put up with me. I’m not good enough. Negative, after negative, after negative.
I can be positive for anybody else – everyone else is good enough and pretty enough and skinny enough, but me? No. Apparently I hold myself to higher standards. I must be perfect or else. It isn’t always like this, but I have days when I feel like I have a few anvils balancing on my head, pushing me down.
There is nothing about me that sets me apart from a crowd, I live a generally mundane life, I too drive around like the cars I watch every day with no real destination in life. Sometimes I settle into my routine and other times I begin to panic, thinking I’m not pushing myself enough, not getting out enough, not living enough. Am I like the cars I see go by? Am I making an endless venture into the world I want to know so much about? Am I really living? Am I embracing life? What is it that I want?
When I get into this funk I think to myself, “all I want is to drive around the world discovering new…everything. Having adventures. Meeting new people. Living. I feel like my life is on pause, sure I am moving forward – I am back in school, I have a new job lined up, I may get a new place soon, I have friends, blah, blah, blah. But what am I doing to better myself and the world? Am I making an impact? Do I matter? Will I matter? Can I?
Am I just a car, moving steadily through life, stopping at each new destination but never really arriving anywhere?
Some days I feel like the future is waiting for me, anxious to discover my next move. Other days I feel like I will never amount to the person I want to become. I will never reach my destination. And why is it that I feel like losing the love of my life will bring my life to a screeching halt? Why can I be so positive on one day and cry every hour the next?
Where is that strength I pride myself on? Where is the Sara that sees an obstacle and devises a way around it? I know she is here, I guess she just likes to take sabbaticals some times.
Even as I’m writing this I realize how I am letting the negative overwhelm me. “Life is what you make it” a little voice is telling me. “Never give up” it says. “You are more than you know.” I suppose as long as I keep in mind that I want to do more than I am doing, I will. Just because I can’t quite yet, doesn’t mean that I won’t be striving to do it and working towards it.
My mind is an incredibly confusing place. Definitely need to meditate.
Forgiveness is a funny thing. I don’t find it really difficult to forgive people their indiscretions toward myself because, in all honestly, I am strong and I know I can accept it, deal with it, and move on. I am a firm believer in giving people several chances, in starting over, and in forgiveness. Where I struggle with forgiveness is when there is an injustice done to one of my loved ones. Be it friends or family or even just a popular figure that I look up to, if someone does or says something harmful or rude I can almost feel the fire start to burn inside me. I get this urge to correct all the wrongs, to save everyone from hurt. I let it take me over and become a wrecking ball for injustice. Apparently I fancy myself a superhero – wishing I could save everyone in the world from mental or physical harm. My intentions are all well and good, but I have recently come to the realization that I can’t do this anymore. Yes, it is okay for you to want to defend a loved one, but you can’t always do that. I know that if I always let someone else stand up for me I wouldn’t be the pillar of strength I am today; that I have learned to be.
Back to forgiveness. When someone says or does something hurtful to me I usually have no problem letting it go. Sure, every once in awhile I will hold on to it like a comfort blanket and keep going back to it letting my anger and rage build up, but eventually I become sane enough to see what I am doing to myself and I let go of my blanket, forgive them by remembering that no matter what they say or do I am still me and they don’t have any control over me. Other times I forgive so easily I have had people tell me that I am “too nice,” that I need to stop giving people chances. But I feel like everybody makes mistakes, and says things they don’t mean so I have trouble justifying holding a grudge. And I’m right, everybody deserves a second chance and everybody deserves forgiveness – except…except I don’t give myself the same leeway. I have the most trouble forgiving myself. I remember one time I was driving down the highway late at night, music blaring after a long day full of depressing thoughts and unhappiness and then a song came on. It have always liked the song but for some reason this time it really resonated with me and made me realize…I hadn’t forgiven myself.
I did NOT forgive me. I couldn’t forgive myself for hurting my loved ones, which I know my depression did. Watching someone you love hurt and not being able to do anything about it is really difficult, so I knew it must be hard on my family. They all tried to help but I never perked up. I felt like a flower, wilting slowly; every day losing a new petal, falling closer to earth. I couldn’t forgive myself for being raped. For letting another person take that kind of control over me. I couldn’t forgive myself for…anything. Every little thing I had done or said was weighing down on me and I wouldn’t forgive myself. I told myself I deserved it all – all the pain all the self hate all the love lost. I believed that it all happened to pay me back for all the wrongs and injusticies I felt that I had doled out in my short lifetime.
This was over two years ago. I am still on the path towards forgiving myself. It is difficult and quite convoluted and I struggle with it every day. Learning to love and forgive yourself might be the most difficult yet fulfulling journey – and one I think I will be on for the rest of my life, like I’m sure many others are. But we have to learn to do both because it is easier to forgive yourself when you love yourself. And what’s not to love? You are unique, there is only one of you out there! And you are beautiful and you have ideas and strength and power and love. You can be anything and do anything. You will make mistakes and that’s okay. We all do, but we can also move on, learn from our mistakes, make a difference.
Forgive, starting with yourself.