One year ago to the date, I was in a bad place. A real bad place. I was in an underpaid depressing job, still unhappy with my body, in and out of the doctors and my long term relationship had ended and I was packing my things. I remember crying and putting my things in boxes preparing for another move and wondering ‘How am I ever going to get through this? What the hell is my life going to be in a year? If it is this bad now, how much more am I going to mess it up?’
You always think things are impossible in the beginning, it is just fear running its course. You have no idea what is waiting for you. Believe it or not, most of the time its usually something better. As long as you keep your head on straight.
I will be honest, my head was not on straight the entire year, I fell down a bunch. But I got back up. I fell down some more, and just lied there. I wanted to just lay there forever and hope life just passes me by and wouldn’t bother me ever again. What a sad concept. It wasn’t a light bulb that flashes in your mind, or you don’t wake up one day ready to take on the world. It really is just one day at a time and little by little, sometimes at a glacial pace, it gets better. YOU get better. Situations don’t get better, so don’t ever assume your happiness is dependent on the outcome of something you can’t control. The only thing you can control, is how you feel about the shitty situtation you’re in.
How do you do that? You suck it up and you DO it. You need to remember you deserve to be happy, because your happiness is contagious. Help others. Anyone. A selfless act is never selfless, but lending an ear to a friend in need, joining a charity fundraiser, tutoring a child. It makes you feel like you’re needed and wanted.
Friends will save your life. My friends, oh my friends. You bring a tear to my eye remembering this past year and how without you, I would still be laying down waiting for life to pass me. Never underestimate the power of a phone call or dinner out with a good friend. They are your arm floaties so you don’t drown.
Don’t ignore your situations either. Bottling up emotions is just a ticking time bomb. There were so many times I cancelled doctors appointments just so I wouldn’t have to hear what else was wrong and how much it’s going to cost. Tackle that head on and get it over with. Looming fear is just as bad, or worse than actually solving the problem.
Moving sucks. I did not like options, but it was all I had. So I had to do what I had to do. If you stop obsessing about what you want and work with what you have, it is amazing how relieved you feel.
One year ago, I thought I was at the end of my rope. I had dreams and goals but they were buried so deep in my own sadness they were but a distant memory. Allow yourself to mourn your previous life, not too long, but it’s good for you. Then take life by the balls and give it hell.
In one year, I found an amazing new job that I love. I tested multiple times for my belts and I am looking to test for my red belt in two months. I found a new apartment with friends in a great area with two dogs! I connected with new friends, I strengthened my bonds with others. And today, April 14th, I am taking my GREs to finish the final part of my application to a Masters program. One year ago today I was crying into boxes and today I am taking a 5 hour test to get me into Grad school. Wow.
Don’t ever assume you will feel in despair forever. Unfortunately, it seems like 2012 is the year of break ups, so I’m sure this is relevant to many of you. I’m definitely not saying I’m healed, but keep the faith that you are so much stronger than you think. Stay focused and breathe. Do something to make yourself proud in a year from now.