I’m toasting to the inspiration I gather from those who are gettin’ things DONE and bettering themselves.
What are you TOASTING to this weekend? Tell me, pretty please.
One lesson I have learned over and over again is that there are a lot of people out there on this big blue planet who have already had all of the problems I have, and they’ve lived to tell about it. The funny thing is, sometimes when I’ve decided to share a deeper part of myself with someone, I worry that they’re going to be shocked or surprised by what I share – when a lot of times, they don’t blink twice and say, “Yeah I know. I’ve been there.” or “Someone I love is going through that right now.”
I guess I’m just not that special, haha.
Kidding aside, what it really tells me is that for every problem I have, every problem that I think is so huge and shadowing my entire life, are really things lots of other people experience. They’re doing okay. “So, stop being a baby,” I tell myself. OFTEN.
Yet when it’s your world that’s being interrupted, and you’re the one “suffering”, it can feel like you’re in a lonely, dark tunnel. With no light at the other end. And sometimes, selfishly, it’s easier to say, “No I want this difficulty for myself. I don’t want to share it with anyone who might THINK they understand. It’s MINE, and they WON’T.”
Of course, often times in my case, that has been a load of hooey. I’ve learned from friends – old and new – that there are ways to get through things that I had never even heard of. That it’s better to hold a hand through the slop than it is to maneuver through it alone.
And for another thing, those who care about you WANT to help you get through it. I myself love to cheer on those who are taking on any kind of challenge – big, small, somewhere in between. I’m currently supporting a friend through a difficult challenge that I myself have already been through and it is with LOVE that I want to help. To want to say, “I already went through that fire so that I can help you.” So. Let other people do it for you.
I believe people come into our lives for a reason, and I know that every friend and loved one I have has a purpose in my life – whether it’s quiet or loud, or whether or not I’ve seen what that purpose is yet. That means I’m starting to finally listen and realize that others have gone before me, so I should respect their experiences and learn what I can from them. It won’t always be easy, but it is meaningful and I truly believe it’s a blessing. And you don’t go around snubbing blessings, right?
I’m thankful. Some may have to walk alone, but I do not.
One of the biggest differences that I first noticed when I started realizing I wasn’t myself many months ago was that I didn’t want to be around people much any more. And that was highly disturbing, because I am very much a people person. In fact, I’d built a career around being a people person just so I could be one every day. But as I started to slip away from my true self, I begin to push people away – and looking back now I feel really terrible when I think about it, because BOY do I have some nice people in my life who really tried to reach out.
I think there were a few reasons why I hid from people. First, I was really confused about how I was feeling and I felt sick pretty much all of the time and I didn’t think people would understand that, let alone want to be around it. Also, it took a lot….and I mean A LOT of energy to put in the usual positive energy into seeing people that used to not be difficult at all. I’d be wiped out even after a short visit with someone, or gosh, even running a quick errand and making an exchange of small talk with anyone out in the world.
So instead, I hid. And hid. And fortunately I have very great friends who understood that’s what I tend to do when I’m going through something – and I also have very busy friends and family members who didn’t even realize I was hiding, so it was actually a very easy thing to do.
Looking back now I know that wasn’t the best thing to do, because for me, being around people is what fills me up. Fuels me. Cheers me up and inspires me to keep on keeping on. In all the years I’ve worked from home, my husband could immediately tell which weeks I was more chained to my desk than out in the world because of my behavior. If I was quiet or distant, he knew I hadn’t been spending much time with other people, and he’d gently find a way to suggest me to so. He knew what was good for me and when I was my happiest.
All of that brings me to now, as I’m starting to get out a lot more and reconnect with some, and make new connections with others. I am surprised by how many (who know my story) are worried that I might be putting myself “out” to spend time with them – and I assure you (and I’ve told those who have expressed concern), that is not the case. The LAST thing I’d want is for anyone I’m spending time with to think I’m faking it, because I am most certainly not.
Do I have time and energy to see everyone I’d like to right now, no. But when I do, I am so very happy to be with you. You are the one who waited for me when I was in my funk. You are the one who understands what this funk is – you’ve been through something similar and you want to talk about it and compare war stories. And I love you so much for both of those reasons. It sounds incredibly self-indulgent to say this, but while I’m out and about, don’t worry about me. If I’m there at the party it’s because I want to be there to honor you/celebrate you/spend time with you. Nobody’s making me. You make my heart happy.
I’m really happy to see you.