the story so far

Here’s the Thing!

Okay lately I’ve been struggling with words. For a while I thought maybe I didn’t have a thing to say, but I think maybe it was just this problem of execution. As it turns out, if there’s something we’re thinking, even if it’s hard to describe, it is highly likely that someone else has found himself in a similar situation, and it is also likely that someone has written about it.

Funny how the human condition is relevant to all of us humans, huh?

I don’t know where I got lost this year. Maybe I was lost long before that and I was only just finally able to realize it. Either way, I spent all of 2015 making huge plans and getting really excited that I’d finally found what I wanted to do with my life. And then it all fell apart, over and over again.

Another thing I’ve discovered lately is that the advice to always keep pushing for something you want until you get it is BULLSHIT. Sometimes there are things that don’t work because they shouldn’t! Yes, push and shove for the things you want to pursue in your life, but when 10 times out of 10 it doesn’t work out, there’s a point at which you need to take the message the universe is hitting you over the head with and move on to the next thing.

I did that this year, several times. Sort of. At least I told myself I was. I think I only really accomplished it about a week and a half ago. Or maybe I’ve just started to and need to see it through.

I digress.

I know I’ve written about this before, but I was only at the cusp of it at the time and now I can look back at the past few months and not just surmise at the relevance of this, but see it quite plainly.

I hit a point in January when I realized that my plans weren’t going to happen. Not Peace Corps, not China, not leaving the country. Not yet. Not now. Maybe eventually. Honestly, I spent several months wallowing and allowing myself to be devastated by that. I still am, a little, but the one thing I can give myself credit for is that while I was wallowing, I was also starting something new:

I realized that even if I wasn’t going anywhere this year, it didn’t have to be a worthless, empty, uninspiring, waste of a year. I could still make it not only memorable but also inextricably significant to the rest of my life. Without leaving the town I’m in, I could change all the little things about myself that need improvement – I can grow and become and most importantly, learn to thrive wherever I am. I can do the work to become the person who will one day best be able to experience all the wonderful things I know I’ll find in this world.

Almost seems like a no-brainer, right? Clearly I’m about dense as a brick, but I’m learning.

I have done a lot of work in the past couple of months – from reading more and studying for fun, to picking up the guitar, to exercising literally every day, to eating healthy foods, to sleeping better hours, to choosing to have a positive attitude no matter what comes my way, to electing to take my own religious views seriously… The list goes on.

The thing is, I couldn’t give up. I’m a doer, a mover, a go-er, at least in my heart. I have tried to explain this to my sister, who thinks I have some unseen motivation. But it is just this: if I stop moving, I die. Metaphorically. But if I don’t go forward, I can’t help but feel like I’d cease to exist in a true way. It isn’t seeing the world, but it’s something. A few months is only a start, but it’s something. And I keep amazing myself with how different I feel, how different I am.

Anyway, I started by saying that everything we try to say has been said and done before. And that’s true. The internet keeps reminding me of that. So here’s the image I came across today which brought this all back to mind, because it’s so true.

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” It’s so simple, and yet so huge. How did I not understand this sooner?



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