I talked earlier this year about some mental health problems I was having. I want to let you know I am doing better. Things aren’t perfect, but mostly I wanted to take charge of my own life. I’m in a good place at the moment, mostly. 2016 is a pretty jacked up year, so I’m doing the best I can. Part of what’s keeping me in the good place is remembering and making notes of my blessings, and since it’s Thanksgiving, I want to talk about a few of these, and some of the little things I do that make huge impacts on my life and well-being.
One of the biggest problems I was having for most of this year was unemployment. I was floating along with no direction which felt like being filled with uselessness. It was awful. Job rejections were taking their toll. I found myself with weird eating and sleeping patterns. And would often just lie on the floor and cry. And because I stopped caring, the floor was not all that clean. To say it was one of my lowest points in life is understatement.
During this time I sought solace in a book I often turn to for help. You’re probably guessing the bible, or if you know me, some Spider-Man comic. But it’s actually Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl. There’s a line in the book that has echoed in my head for years. “It’s not what you expect from life, but rather what life expects from you.” I couldn’t figure out what that was. What does life expect from me?
I even used that question as the text for my alarm. Forcing me to consider it every morning. Also, getting back in the habit of using an alarm became helpful as well. Part of it is creating a schedule to keep things normalized, but another part is my alarm uses “The Warrior’s Code” by Dropkick Murphys. Every morning started with this positive idea of being strong enough to not give up.
I was eventually able to use this newfound positive outlook to land a job. I now work with elementary school children. For those who know me and have seen me interact with your children, you know this is a good fit. But I wasn’t aware of how much it was until about two weeks in when I had this epiphany. What washed over me was this undeniable feeling that I am in the exact right place, and doing exactly what I should be doing. This is what life expects from me.
For the first time ever, I am excited to go to work. Even on the toughest days, there are these amazing bright spots. I can see that the things I’m doing are important and are making an impact. I’ve never had that feeling in a job before. I actually feel like I matter and it is absolutely fantastic.
The world can seem awful and scary right now. And it is, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some amazing and beautiful things in it. Be grateful and embrace these things, not only today, but every day when you feel overwhelmed. Love and positivity are always the answer and the light in darkness. Embrace it.
This Thanksgiving I am grateful for such a wonderful job. For all the adorable kids who make the bad days less terrible. For the teachers I work alongside of who deserve more recognition than they get. For the music I can always turn to that hits harder than the pain. And of course for all my friends and family who have always been in my corner offering support in many different forms. I love you all.