People tell me my words should be a gateway; like there’s something there lingering in the back of my mind that isn’t able to come out otherwise.
It’s a monster, lurking in a cave that sees no light unless I truly commit to unearthing the depths of it. But to go exploring in that cave of thoughts, notions and unbelievably tormenting emotion is something I’ve always struggled to face.
But that’s exactly why I had to.
My life is unrecognisable
And that’s okay. In fact, it’s more than okay. I’ve faced challenges I never thought were possible to come head-to-head with.
In the span of 2020’s first two months, I moved cities, found myself on my own and facing a whirlwind of new decisions that demanded my independence.
If there were ever a time to feel like I was being punished, it was now. And believe me, I did. Every moment of silence has burdened down on me to make me second guess; make me judge myself; make me overthink and analyse moments from my past again and again.
But that’s also okay.
Life is never one straight road. It’s full of winding, curvy, untangible and unexplored paths that we’re all thrown into to figure out for ourselves. But more than anything, it’s how we decide to use this time to define who we are and be honest with the heart and soul that we have, that really matters.
That was the hardest part for me: coming to terms with the fact that my life had inevitably changed drastically.
It had happened in a heartbeat and I was sure I was just left with unfathomable wreckage. But it was actually an opportunity to salvage some kind of treasure.
At this very moment, as I write, I’m able to look at my hurdles and recognise the adversity that I’ve gone through. I can see the progress I’ve made, understand my mistakes and acknowledge those who have helped me get through.
I can also see with incredible clarity that there’s also no absolute path to the actions we commit or the behaviour we exhibit.
Life is unknown; it’s a mystery, it’s a thriller, it’s an unpredictable shit storm.
If you can make it through each of those storms and still be standing, then you’ve overcome the biggest challenge of all: understanding that your life has changed.
Uncertainty is the bravest battle
I’ve never been good at facing my fears, and I’m even worse at acknowledging that you can’t predict everything life has in store for you.
I hate uncertainty; it’s a ghost to me. It haunts me, tears me apart and rips my mind to shreds at the best of times. Luckily, I’ve learnt that not all ghosts are bad, and if you can live with this kind of fear in your life, then you can live with anything. You put it all to the side — just like shadows — and forget it’s following you.
As I get up each day, I learn to take another step into a world that I don’t understand at all.
Only months ago I thought my life was planned out, laminated and unpenetrable. I was wrong. And if there’s any lesson I’ve learnt more from this all, it’s that nothing is set in stone.
Feeling at ease with the fact that you’ll never know what’s around the corner is half the battle and it’s a hard one to find yourself facing. It’s also the most rewarding.
I’m trying to tell myself now that living each moment, each day and each week at a time will give me far better outcomes than if I started to question myself about the next year or two in advance.
Because it’s the ‘what ifs’ or ‘where the hell am I?’ kind of questions that can cause you to spiral more than you ever have before. Learning to grab these moments of self-doubt and launch them back to the cave of the monster I never wanted to engage with in the first place, has been my top priority.
Maybe it won’t be this way an hour from now when I’m lying in bed and my mind is in full-swing again. But somehow, knowing these lessons sit within me is the biggest reward of all.
Today is hard, tomorrow will be harder
Honestly, I’d be worried if it wasn’t.
All of these changes in my life have created a huge shift that will take time to get past and adjust to. But that’s okay because time is a part of the healing process; I’ve got plenty of that coming my way.
I’ve been reminded by those around me (those who are are privy to my situation) to use the weapon in my mind when moments of crisis hit. When I feel the tidal wave of emotion, memories and anxiety flood through me, I put my pen to paper.
Instead of feeling whiplash from a mental rollercoaster, I’m making sense of the puzzles I’m faced with. I’m able to overcome, solve and get on with the day.
It’s these people, combined with my passion for writing, who have lead me to this spot right now: a state of acceptance and understanding. Accepting that my life isn’t what it was last year, and understanding that I can overcome anything. I have more strength than I ever knew existed within me.
And honestly, I owe them the world (you know who you are).
I’m a warrior. I am today and I will be tomorrow. But someone will probably just have to remind me.