A test of strength, nerves, willpower, understanding...
Lately, I've had no shortage of this test. I freely admit that things have been hard this year. Not to say that life should always be easy, because that could never be so, but some days/months/years stretch out longer and harder than others. I carry on because I have to, finding joy in nature, biking, writing, late nights sharing stories with friends...but at times, no matter how much strength I try and gain from my surroundings, things can be just plain hard.
It seems that every corner of the internet is clogged with advice; lists and lists of advice. Words of wisdom, quotations and encouragements. I do appreciate the positive nature of this, but honestly, it's all too overwhelming. There comes a point when the over saturation is just too much. Words lose meaning when there are too many versions of the same theme. Words on screen become mere letters strung together, pointing out our shortcomings directly from the page.
I've had quite enough of what I refer to as the 'Facebook effect,' that blurred line between what's really going on and what people present to the public. For example, in reading my own profile, some might think that my life is a grand, happy affair, but that's only based on what I choose to share. Behind the walls of my room I'm still the overly shy dreamer who longs for connection, love and strong unshakable friendships cultivated over the years. Friendships filled with respect to cherish for all time.
These past months I've tried my best to nurture the sensitive side of myself, but I worry at times that I become outwardly overbearing. My desires for connection and good times spiral out towards the 'too much' realm. My dichotomy is a confusing one, I'm both standoffish and highly intense at the same time. I know I'm a hard one to figure out. My desires are too strong, too immediate, wanting connections to happen right away, instead of patiently waiting.
To my friends who have been there for me these days, I thank you, so very much. You've all been my solid supports, and most of you have absolutely no idea of the strength you've afforded me. One of my greatest faults however is that I turn to you, my outside supports, too much, so when I'm on my own, I lose my grip a little and flounder (even though I'm a fiercely solitary girl - damn that dichotomy again!)
Now before this post takes a turn down the road it seems to be leading, let me be clear: I am one of the strongest people I've ever known. I am just as large a support to my friends as they are to me, and my bonds are unbreakable. I can, will and prefer to put myself aside to help out those that are dear to me, and bringing joy to others has become my biggest source of happiness. But...there is a problem with this. The problem is that when I am not with my loving friends, I have trouble finding joy to grasp onto. If the biggest source of my happiness comes from outside of myself, how can I harness the positive when I'm on my own? And trust me, I'm on my own quite a lot.
This brings me to this past week. As my summer holidays drew to a close, I was acutely aware of my self-strength 'disability' and knew I had to make a change. So I set out at the beginning of each day with an intention. Something small and simple that I could concentrate on through the day, from confidence, to no gossiping, to calmness.
But yesterday, as I rode my bike to work in a bit of an emotional muddle (again), I knew I needed something stronger to guide me through. The words that started swimming through my mind were "my life is my own magic." From there, I held on tight to the feeling that I have to be the only source of my own magic, and let me tell you, I had the most wonderful day. Being at work became a pleasure, because damn I'm lucky to work with the amazing people I do (they all held up their coffee cups in a group cheers to me for a job well done directing my first series). My usual feelings of sad nostalgia for all things past turned into super-charged sparks of gratitude that I had lived those moments fully. I sunk into the present moment with a fierce calm that lit me up all over and I found myself connecting right, left and centre with everyone I came in contact with. I watched the sun go down and then gathered my best to go out dancing to the cheesiest 90's music we could find and bounce out any last drop of negativity. Then I went home late at night, biking through all the back allies I'd never seen before, and made a giant stack of pancakes, and let me tell you, they tasted amazing.