One day I woke up—not only from my slumber, but from the storm in which I had been caught up. I can’t tell you exactly when this happened, but I just…woke up. Emotions that ran so high finally settled and I started to see things more clearly. Colors were more vibrant, music moved my soul, working out became routine again, and my appetite was uncontrollably active. The stress and confusion had subsided and I laughed again. My consistent smile returned, and there I was—a happier me.
When my world was shaken and the plans previously engraved in my head were no longer suitable options, I was forced to change. My future seemed bleak and my closet full of dreams I had once carried with me were gone, leaving nothing but empty hangers in their absence. I reluctantly had to mold and alter my thoughts, my heart, my plans, and my location. Sure I could try avoiding the inevitable (which I did), but I knew I couldn’t escape the shift that was going to turn my world upside down.
As humans we generally have difficulty adjusting to change, and for me, the word “difficulty” made it sound easy, which it wasn’t, because change never is. When a big change happens you question if you did the right thing, if you should’ve thought longer, thought harder, shut up, or said more. Back and forth you catch yourself sifting through your thoughts, and those running thoughts keep going. Overthinking becomes an addiction. Shifting through the multitude of “what ifs” leaves you trying to find a corner in the circle that is your mind.
I felt stuck for what seemed like forever, although I hid it well. But then I realized with all the time and space that had slipped by, the sunrises and sunsets that had passed, I had adapted. I wasn’t just living; I was thriving. The questionable decisions I had made were now undeniably the right choices for me and my life…I just didn’t know it at the time. Before I thought my world was regrettably flipped upside down, but once the tears washed away the emotional chaos and the dust had settled back into its original state, I realized my universe was right-side-up again, but in a completely new direction.
I stopped my running thoughts. Like a light switch I turned them off. I let go of the seriousness and decided to laugh more with my friends. I let go of the relentless worrying, knowing I was only holding myself back. I became confident that I was and am happy with the new route I’m frolicking on. My worries of being alone subsided when I found that butterfly feeling during a first kiss with someone new. I stopped resenting and was a lot happier remembering. I made a bucket list of things that I wanted to do alone. I found serenity and peace in my solitude. I could finally look down that metaphorical hallway and see that in the same moment I confidently shut and locked one door, ten more opened up.
When faced with annoying/disturbing/disappointing moments, you go through the motions, you get mad, you sulk in sadness, and then the storm passes. There is no better way to describe the process. One day the storm just floats away, but only after you make the conscious decision to move forward, to be happy…to let go of the life you had to start living the life you have.
We all know life is short, and wasting moments on things not meant for you only means you’re screwing yourself out of mind-blowing happiness. No matter what way you turn some pieces, they will never fit into your puzzle. Be brave enough to shatter and break your own heart. Don’t let the fear of being alone keep you in some dating limbo you know isn’t right for you. Mediocre is not what you want, whether that’s sub-par love, a career, a situation you keep finding yourself in—be better than mediocre. Be happy—undeniably happy. If you’re having doubts in your relationship, be brave enough to walk away for the both of you. Life may be short, but it’s still long; too long to accept anything less than what you want. So don’t settle and don’t be OK with just being OK. Be better, want better, and then be brave enough to go get it.
The storm will seem never-ending and it will feel like around every corner there is a lightning bolt shooting straight through your foot, but eventually the noise of the thunder will become more and more distant, until eventually the clouds dissipate and you’ll embrace the sound of silence…and then laugh.