On Learning To Love The Ups And Downs Of Life

woman sitting on swing near waterfall
Artem Bali / Unsplash

When I was in high school, my sister and I would fight for bathroom time to get ready in the mornings. If we weren’t fighting over mirror time, we would be arguing over borrowed clothes. Mainly I was being yelled at for stealing my sister’s wardrobe and hiding from her in our school’s hallways so she wouldn’t see me donning her clothes from head to toe.

On the occasional mornings where we wouldn’t be tearing each other’s throats out, we’d manage to have small conversations with each other. As teenage girls, we were always trying to look our best for another day of school, styling our hair and doing our makeup the best we could before first period class.

We could be hard on our appearances at times, always pointing out the features we liked least about ourselves. We’d always agree that there were periods of time where we felt we looked really good and then others where we just thought we looked weird – as though our faces took a vacation and some stranger replaced it with foreign traits. As much as we switched up our makeup or played around with our hair, during those weird times, there was not much we could do to make us like how we looked.

I always felt that way with my personality and overall demeanor as well. Some days or weeks I would wake up and feel on top of the world, ready to take on the day and my interactions with others were positive, upbeat and mutually connected. Others, I woke up tired, discouraged and not in the mood to socialize with anyone. I’d often rate my personality based on how well I conversed with others and my happiness was a reflection of the quality of those interactions.

I used to think that I was going to grow out of that – that after high school graduation, I would get over the moodiness and constant swing of emotions, to eventually be born into someone who was always cheery, optimistic and receptive to any new person or scenario.

What I’ve learned in the ten year span from high school until now is that there are always going to be weird times, whether it’s with your physical appearances or your emotional and mental state; there is always going to be the swing swaying back and forth. The difference between who I was as a teenage and who I am today is that I am no longer grasping at the ropes of the swing, trying to hang on, rather, I’m propelling my legs to direct it.

I’ve come to embrace the swing and welcome the turbulence of the ride; to not fear falling off or getting hurt. It’s really easy to be fearful and judge the varying degrees of emotions housed within you, but its harder, more rewarding work to unravel each new feeling as though it were a gift delivered to you at exactly the right time.

Your life is not about pushing away the uncomfortable, the scary, the messy, or the weird, but rather trying to discover what purpose they have for you in your life. We’re never going to be able to control the ebbs and flows that current through our journeys, but we can learn to love the aspects of ourselves that we normally like to run from.

You were and always will be imperfectly perfect. Love yourself, all of yourself. You are the only you there will ever be. TC mark

More From Thought Catalog

The People Bringing You Delicious Dairy

A new Thought Catalog series exploring our connection to each other, our food, and where it comes from.

Meet Katie Dotterer-Pyle
On Learning To Love The Ups And Downs Of Life is cataloged in , , ,