“Sometimes we create our own heartbreaks through expectations.”
A very wise person
They say a breakup with a significant other is one of the most painful, emotionally heart-wrenching experiences a person can go through. It can feel like your physical heart is breaking apart into a mosaic. You can’t eat, you lose sleep. Depression and self doubt creep in, until you cannot remove yourself from bed.
But what about a breakup with a friend? What happens when you end a decades worth of growing memories with a person you thought you could count on forever? Surely that must hurt just the same or even more.
2020 has been a year of extreme change for everyone, in all aspects of life. I have lost a lot of friends this year. Not to the most permanent form of separation we know as death but for other reasons; reasons unknown to me. I think the only thing harder than losing a friend is not knowing the reason why. This year I am being taught one of life’s biggest lessons and that is; sometimes we will never know the why. Sometimes explanations won’t be given and we will wonder forever, never truly knowing. We can only guess the reasoning and make a somewhat educated assumption but we will never know for sure.
This is a hard lesson to learn. As humans we want reasoning. That is how we move forward. We figure out the why and then come up with a plan to solve the issue. With no why, how do we move on?
Step 1) Acceptance.
Accept the fact that you don’t know why. You don’t know why you both grew apart. You don’t know why you didn’t get the job. You don’t know why he doesn’t love you anymore. You just don’t know and that is okay. It is okay not to know why. Accept that.
Step 2) Be grateful
Be grateful with the amount of time you did have with that friend. Be grateful for the experiences you had with them and for the lessons that they taught you. Be grateful, that for some miraculous reason the stars aligned just right so that you both could know each other. Be grateful that you have someone to miss. Be grateful for it all.
Step 3) Move forward
Move forward with your life and stop looking back. Take a little piece of that person with you wherever you go. A lesson they taught you, a piece of advice they gave you, a memory they made with only you; take that with you. That is how you honor something when it is no longer around. Move forward knowing that for whatever reason that person was put into your life, it is now complete. It is finished. It is time for new lessons and new people; for new experiences and new chapters to be opened.
These 3 steps are simple and give you a sense of hope but they are not easy. I type them out here before you with tears silently rolling down my cheeks because a loss is a loss and grieving is inevitable. Cry, scream, ask the wind “why me?” Do not bottle up the pain of losing something that was so special to you. It is an important step to healing.
We get upset because our expectations of what we thought was to be are broken. We expected a different outcome. We expected this to last forever but it didn’t. It lasted for as long as it was intended to and now it is done. Accept, be grateful and move forward.
I am grateful for the people that were put into my life because I recognize that it was no coincidence they were put there. I am still working things out in my mind and it is going to take some time, that is for certain. I am moving forward slowly but surely and that is okay. I want you to know that whatever you have lost will return back to you in a different form. Something better is just around the corner and when you are ready for it, it will appear.
“At times the world may seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe that there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough. and what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may in fact be the first steps of a journey.”
― Lemony Snicket
In life we often find ourselves in times of uncertainty. Whether it’s a start of a new job, a move to a different place, a death of a loved one, or possibly a worldwide pandemic. As humans we are use to routine and planning. We prepare for trips we’ve booked months in advance. We tell our friends we will see them next week for dinner. We plan our weddings and school lunches. We plan our set lists and dance moves. We plan what we will say in our speeches and interviews. Hell, people even get to the point of planning their own funerals. Yet, some things we cannot plan for and I might even be so bold as to say, that we really cannot plan for anything at all. There is no telling what the future holds. There is no telling what even tomorrow will bring.
Now, some people might be scared of that message I just typed out before you. Having NO control. Realizing that all the planning people do could be halted and changed at any moment and there is absolutely nothing they can do about it. It sounds scary, trust me I understand, but let me enlighten you.
When things go unexpectedly, when life strays from the original plan, that is when you grow. That is when you have to step up to new challenges and put on armor you never knew you owned. When your world flips upside-down, so does your perspective. You begin to see things differently. You begin to appreciate what you once took for granted. You become more creative and innovative, attempting to tackle the new challenges that lie ahead.
When life throws you a curve ball, or maybe two or three, its intention is to wake you up. It is supposed to take you to a place you are ready to go and are meant to be. Do not be scared of the unknown but embrace it like the last warm ray of sunshine on a perfect summer day. Like the last hug you give your pet before you leave for work. Get excited when plans get cancelled and you don’t get the job you wanted because those moments are the beginning of something wonderful.
I realize that might sound crazy. To embrace the things that hurt you or disappoint you but when you hit a road block you cannot just stop. You have to push through because the place you are meant to go is right beyond that minor setback. Do not get too comfortable where you are because when you start relying on a perfectly planned schedule, you are no longer living, you are remaining stagnant in an unfulfilling life. Treading water in circles; going nowhere.
If we can learn to embrace the shakes and pulls from the world we can truly turn into the best versions of ourselves. Personal growth is the only thing we should ever plan for. The only thing you can be certain of in this life is that you are going to be challenged. You are going to be pushed to your absolute limits and shaken to your core and you are going to come out the other side a stronger person. This, I can guarantee.
We hear it all the time. If you want to reach your goals, if you want to make something of yourself, if you simply wish to just make it to the grocery store today…you can’t give up.
It’s hard sometimes…to keep picking yourself up. To keep seeing the positives. To keep moving forward. To keep on keeping on. You can’t give up though. That’s what they say.
I took a drive today. Sometimes you just need to listen to music and drive. I am lucky that I am able to put the keys in the ignition of a vehicle I call my own and take off where ever and whenever I want. There. That’s a positive. See! I’m staying positive. Im supposed to, right?
As I was driving, I was thinking. I was thinking about the goals I have as a writer. I was thinking about my day job and how much I hate it. I was thinking about all the people who don’t have to worry about the price of gas. I was thinking how lucky those people are. I was thinking how I want to be one of those people one day. One of those people who don’t have to worry about price tags. Those kind of people who don’t have to work a job they hate just to have enough money to fill up their tank.
I have to admit I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. I was thinking of how I write so much but no one reads it. I was thinking about how badly I want to be able to write for a living and reach a large audience, but right now it seems impossible. But you can’t give up because that’s what they say! All those successful people. You can’t give up they say, as they drive away, sipping their coffee that if you asked them how much it was they wouldn’t be able to recall.
Im sure you have felt this feeling before. That feeling that creeps into the back of your mind. An unwanted guest, yet we are too scared to tell them leave.
SELF DOUBT 😈
It stops us from reaching our goals, big or small. It latches on like a leech and sucks the life right out of us. It diminishes our confidence and weakens our self-esteem.
That feeling you get when you want to give up. When you have fallen so many times…again and again. Picking yourself up with scrapes and bruises and having enough of it. Not wanting to go on because what is the point? I will never reach my goals. I will never pass the test. I will never make my parents proud. I will never become a teacher. I will never have enough money to buy a house. I will never lose the weight. I have tried so hard and I keep failing. I make little to no progress. I am worthless. I am a failure. I give up.
That is self doubt. It breaks into your mind and takes control. It tears everything apart and shows no mercy. But you can’t give up…and that is what I say. That is what I am telling you now.
Those times in your life when you feel like nothing is going right and everything is falling apart…those are the best times. Those are the times you get to rebuild yourself.
Nothing in life worth having is going to be easy to attain. You have to work for it. You have to pull yourself from the trenches and keep fighting. You have to believe that you are capable of anything. Think of how far you have come. Think of all the times you have fallen and gotten up. If you could do it then, you can make it a little further. When you feel like you are hitting rock bottom and when you feel like just completely giving up on everything you have worked so hard on, that means you are almost there. Just keep pushing a little further. The universe is testing you. It is seeing if you really deserve everything you desire. You do. You know you do.
So prove it. Keep going and as cliche as it sounds, I am telling you to never give up. I am one of those annoying, successful people now. Never give up! Self doubt is all your fears trying to stop you from changing and growing but you must grow and you must change. You are going to struggle and cry and fall but if you keep pushing…just a little further, think of all the amazing things that could come from it.
You are strong. You are smart. You are the superhero in your own story. Prove it.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
This morning I opened my lifeless eyes and instinctively reached for the electronic version of my life (that I am definitely paying way too much for) and started scrolling through Instagram. Without even being on the App for more than 30 seconds I found out that Brian got a new job in NYC, Katie is traveling the world while simultaneously getting paid for it, Rachel just moved into her first apartment and all I could think about was how I haven’t even brushed my teeth yet.
I have unintentionally gotten into the horrible habit of starting my mornings off with comparing myself to everyone else’s highlight reel. That is how I got to where I am today….lost and feeling behind in everything.
In school we learn that there are certain steps you take to form a hypothesis. We learn that receiving an A on a paper is something you should be proud of and an F means you have some improvement to do. We are taught that there is an order to almost everything in life. You go to school to get a good job so you have money to get married and start a family and then you get old and then you die. That’s it. That is the basic timeline that has been laid out before us and if we stray from the norm, well that just makes us difficult.
Seeing my friends and people on social media reach their goals in society’s timely manner does not make me upset, it simply makes me question why I have not gotten there yet. Why do my dreams and my goals not match up with the majority of people out there? What if someone wants to go back to school when they are forty or what if someone never plans on getting married or what if a recent college graduate still isn’t sure what they want to do with the rest of their life?
Something I have learned recently is that it is okay to not know what your next move is and it is okay to not have everything figured out by the time you’re twenty-five. People move at their own pace and comparing your life right now, to everyone else’s highlight reel of accomplishments on Instagram is not reality. People post their best moments and their favorite versions of themselves. People aren’t pictures; they aren’t frozen moments in time. People are complex and emotional beings, who at the end of the day just want to feel like they are doing okay and meet society’s standards for whatever being okay really means.
Feeling Lost is the Key to Happiness
❤︎ The time in my life when I could say with a firm belief that I was feeling lost, was unbeknownst to me, the time I was truly finding myself. ❤︎
If you’re like me, and all the possibilities of what you could be and what you want overwhelm you, you have probably experienced the sinking feeling of being lost. Not knowing where to start and not knowing how to become happy and satisfied with your life is more common than one would think.
Well….good news. Being lost means you’re half way there.
The best part about being lost is that it does not matter the direction you go because you don’t know where you’re going. Once you get rid of the plan society has ingrained in your mind since birth, there are endless possibilities ahead and many avenues to turn down.
Once I started spending more time with myself and understanding what makes ME smile and what makes ME laugh and what makes ME want to get out of bed in the morning, that is when I felt myself starting to find my way.
All the nights crying and feeling like I had no purpose in this life because I didn’t have my dream job and I didn’t have more than a couple of friends and I didn’t have a “perfect” body, led me to figuring out who I am and what I want out of life.
I encourage you to look at yourself and even if it doesn’t seem special or important…what are you good at? What are your hobbies? What makes you forget to check the time? What makes you feel excited about starting? If you could have your dream job, even if it doesn’t exist yet…what would it be? What do you want your days to look like and who and what do you want them to be filled with?
These are the questions you need to ask yourself because at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what society wants you to be or your teachers or your family; it matters what YOU want. You have to live with yourself everyday and you are the only one who can prevent yourself from feeling lost. No one knows you better than yourself.
Writing is something I love. I also enjoy helping people and if I could do that through the words I type out from a keyboard, well that would be just wonderful.
Feeling lost and behind in life is something we put on ourselves. It is all in our own heads. Contrary to popular belief, there is not a timeline or a set of rules everyone must follow in order to live their life “the right way.” There is no guarantee we even have tomorrow, so why should we waste our time doing things that don’t makes us happy or worse, living a life someone else has curated for us? The answer is…we shouldn’t!
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”