Have you ever done a whole overhaul of your life? I feel like I’ve been in this stage for awhile and 2017 was just laying the ground work. It is hard when a whole year is meant to be small steps leading to the bigger picture. But now that I have things in place I am starting to have a foundation on which to step forward. I am able to finally be able to find a place where I can implement the dreams that have been living inside my head.
There is a quote that says “rock bottom can also be a great foundation on which to build and on which to grow” and I whole heartedly believe that. Sometimes it can take us being in a space of discontent to know we need to make changes or take a deeper look at areas where you want growth. Although I welcome change and know it is a necessary part of life, I found the space I was in at the time was difficult for implementing the right changes to move forward in a more positive place.
It has been reiterated in my life these last few months just how important it is to incorporate what brings us joy into every day life. It is something I base my life on and that I tell others often but it’s something that became inherently difficult for me with the winter storms, lack of adequate transportation, and financial strain. The more my stress raised the further my health fell, creating a vicious cycle. Any time I was able to take one step forward life would hand me cards that made me go two or three steps back.
It was actually prescribed to me by a doctor to do more of what I love. She asked me what makes me feel most secure and fulfilled in who I am. I said being in nature and more importantly hiking. She told me I needed to do more of that and if possible to do that three times a week. So I started making lists of places in nature I could go that were new and exciting, I got back into my routines of practicing gratitude and reimplemented more self loving patterns, and I started taking step towards new projects I really wanted to create.
But as I was doing the personal work life was giving me some hard lessons. I attended two events that I thought were going to be empowering and transformative. I thought I would be surrounded by people with similar beliefs and values as me. And both times I was not only disappointed but shown a different face behind these massive movements that were ugly and inhumane and uncompassionate. It made me feel more disconnected and it made me extremely concerned for humanity and my country.
So while I was trying to improve my health and remove stressors, life was putting me into a place of existential crisis. While in that place I’ve come to reevaluate my involvement with NGOs and it has made me realize how much further we are than I thought from an aware and accepting world. Two months of the year so far and each of them served me two big lessons a week apart. Both came to me in a time in my life where I wasn’t adequately prepared to handle them. But within those struggles it again brought back the reminder of how important the little joys in life can be.
I stood after the second lesson on the ferry ride home and I was completely overwhelmed with a terrible feeling I couldn’t shake. I couldn’t listen to more chatter of what the day had held so I went up on that back deck to watch as the sun descended. I stood with the winter wind rushing through my hair and the sun warming my skin, the smell of ocean in the air. I thought to myself how much I had missed the ocean and the sun. Such simple things but things I clearly hadn’t gotten enough of. Right there I promised myself to do better about chasing my joys again and about listening to what I need in the moment.
These last few weeks have been about getting to better ground. About deconstructing those lessons and asking myself some big questions and working toward a place where I feel okay again. I’ve slowly but surely gotten rid of specific places of stress in my life and have set up my plans to conquer others. This last week has created some great steps forward where I am walking toward what I truly want. And I know when the new life of spring flowers rise from the soil, I too will be coming anew in life. Standing in a place where I am stronger and where I can chase my joy and dreams without the burden of depression and stress by my side.