The past month has been a trying one–one filled with a lot of transitions and change; a lot of heartache, of reflecting on the past, and thinking about the future. About a week ago, I stood bawling in my living room, while my dad did his best to comfort me,”Don’t worry–it’ll get better from here.”
“Yeah? How can you be so sure?” I challenged.
“Because this is rock bottom, kid.”
This idea actually made me laugh. I had not considered that I was hitting “rock bottom,” or that I anywhere near it–in fact, I was pretty sure I had climbed out of that spot a few months before, and that I was making tremendous progress on my life path. But here I was, blubbering away, feeling completely lost and helpless. Yep, I thought to myself, perhaps this is rock bottom.
I can’t explain why, but the recognition of that fact was such a strange relief–like, OK, so this sucks, but there is a way to bounce back from this. Realizing that I hit a low point made me reflect on why I felt this way, and exactly how I got here. It also made me take very deliberate steps to pull myself out of that feeling. And I can’t tell you how tremendously stronger I already feel, how much more intact my sense of self is now than it was even a week ago. I know I have a long way to go from here, but this is an encouraging first step.
Life is funny–the way things play out, the way we all stumble and fall, but feel so damn embarrassed to admit it, as if we are the only ones who’ve stood in front of the mirror and thought, “What the hell am I doing with myself?” As if we’re the only ones who’ve wondered “Will I ever get this right?”
I admit that I don’t like having to have moments where I feel that way, but I do appreciate how they humble me–how they not only make me reevaluate myself, but also everything else around me–the people I see, the world as it’s happening. It makes me appreciate the struggles that other people might be experiencing that are easy to judge and gloss over when I think I have my shit figured out. It forces me to once again appreciate the beauty of things I might not notice as intensely because it is easy to find beauty in things when you feel content. But being able to find beauty when the joy isn’t coming as readily–well, there’s something pretty special about that.
I think after this time ’round the kicking post, I’ve definitely come away realizing that I have a long way to go still, longer than I really realized. Admittedly, that’s slightly terrifying, but it’s also incredibly exciting. I am only get stronger from here; I have nowhere to go but up.