It’s no secret to the people that know me that I am the worst when it comes to change, the unknown, and things that are out of my control. But I’ve learned something valuable these past couple of months.
During Christmas of last year I landed in the Yucatan of Mexico. I was feeling rather depressed about my closest friends having left for Japan to spend another glorious year of challenges while I was left in what I believed to be the depressing, boring, every day routine that is life in my city. I was beat down with anxiety about being surrounded by family during the holiday season when I was feeling like a failure. So, as I tend to do, I wanted to run from all of these feelings to some place beautiful. I wanted to find inspiration that I felt I was lacking, and learn to become a better version of myself again.
I hadn’t expected to start that journey in Mexico. My first night I was sucked into panic attacks and dread about a new country and all of the things I couldn’t predict. I couldn’t speak Spanish. I couldn’t read signs. My family was probably saying bad things about me for skipping Christmas. So, I bought a journal and began to write about reasons the past year perhaps hadn’t been going my way.
The more I wrote down the events of the past year. The deaths. The stupid actions. My thoughts. My feelings. The more they sounded like excuses. Of course all of these obstacles play a role in shaping my thoughts, but at the end of the day, I realised that I’m just scared. I was afraid to face my family. I was afraid to face new trials in an unknown world after university. I accepted my defeats as faults in myself instead of learning and growing. And I was afraid to face myself. I was afraid to admit my own wrongs.
On my journey in “becoming a better me” I’ve been through a few phases. First was accepting what others had done to me that I couldn’t control. But, for a period all I could do was blame them. Second, was a time frame of accepting myself for my “faults”, but not taking responsibility with how those things could hurt others. Now I am on a path of accepting myself for who I am and how my brain works, but trying to work with others in a way we can coexist and accept each other. I am a very flawed person with extreme ways of thinking. Along with much of the world. We all really aren’t that different in how we feel about ourselves.
I’ve spent the past few months dealing out many apologies and explanations for how I chose to handle the life I was given. I’ve been met with a lot of acceptance. Humans are surprising. We can hurt each other and cause massive confusion in the lives of others, and yet our ability to care for another can always outweigh these pains.
Recently I’ve been faced with something interesting. The initial attack was nothing new in my life. You see, I have someone that hates me very much. Or at least someone who likes to blame me for everything in their life that they find distasteful. And I can understand that as a person who used to do the same thing. This person tried to take away my family. At least those are my personal feelings. I grew up thinking that this was okay.
In the past, I was the type of person that would let this happen. I would back down and isolate for fear of “losing”. For fear that I was the sole factor of this person’s pain. I was actually a problem to everyone in my life and without me, they could all find happiness. I was afraid to accept those things as false, because then what was I without my pain?
But for the first time I truly stood up for myself. I was unafraid of the consequences to what I had to say and how I felt. I spoke up to those around me. I found support and I made a change. Even though I feel a lot of hurt, even though I can’t control the outcome for others, I can control my own outcome.
I want to continue to apply this to the rest of my life. I let these fears of change, the unknown, lack of control, control me. “What if” haunts every thought in my mind. But, I’m learning to rise above that. I really hope I can find a way of life where I continue to push myself through these negative feelings. Even as I write this, part of me laughs because, “there’s no way I can overcome this”. But, I only let myself down if I don’t push on past what scares me.
I always celebrate others. I always love everyone as their own complex individuals, even if I can’t stand them. For once, I’d like to celebrate myself.
I think that owning up to your insecurities, the ways you’ve hurt others, and the ways you’ve hurt yourself are scary to think about. But we can’t get over our fear of the monsters in the closet if we don’t sleep with the door open for a night.