I think it’s easy for anyone to stop and take a look and say “is this really my life?” and move on. I think it’s harder for most to actually stop, ask that question, and then say “how did we get here? How do we change it back? How do we adapt to this?”
Three very good questions asked here. Let’s address each one to see how to rediscover ourselves.
How did we get here?
It might seem redundant or maybe existential to ask this question, but the reality is we’ve made the decisions to get to where we exactly are. The better questions to ask here: “are you happy?” or “are you sad?” If you answered yes to the latter, then we need to assess that. Maybe you’re exactly where you should be. Every single decision you’ve made has been strategically planned and you are more than content with who you are and why you’ve landed on the exact space you’re on in this big board game of life.
As someone that has struggled with anxiety and depression, I know what it’s like to answer yes to both of those questions of being happy or sad. Sometimes both at the same time. It’s OK.
I know that I’ve gotten to where I am from making decisions, some of them more on the fly than others. I am happy and I am sad with how I’ve gotten to where I am.
Here’s the part where I say I am much more optimistic about the future, which anyone with anxiety and crippling depression would have a hard time saying. I sought out treatments. I went through therapy. I have a mental illness, and I sought help. That’s the hardest part about all of it, kids.
So, how did I get here? Patience. Hope. Chances. Faith. Luck. That’s the truth. Your answers are probably pretty similar, too. Or maybe you really are an overachiever and really plotted out every move.
Failed relationships, failed friendships, body shaming, self loathing, agoraphobia; it’s easy to come up with reasons to not come out of my shell than not.
A few months ago I had to confront a situation I never wanted to bother myself with again, but when your former best friend and you share mutual friends, there is always the chance you’ll run into each other. Almost 8 years later and we still had not talked. I know we both had asked our mutual friends how the other was doing, so why didn’t we just talk directly? But we did. And it was everything we both hoped it would be. Kind, cordial, and apologetic. Burden lifted.
A few years ago I wrote about scent memories. Did you know we have audible memories, too?
Last week I plugged a USB hard drive into my old college computer tower. I pulled all the files off of it and started listening to some of the music I had on there. My old running mixes. My old CDs I’d burn for my car. I could picture a lot of scenes in my memory to the music I was hearing. Running down West Main in Kalamazoo, running the Spartan Trail 5k, driving to Portage, sitting in the Lowe’s parking lot. I could hear it all, see it in my head, and I could even remember some of the pain I felt while running, the nausea sitting in my car not wanting to go into work. Thanks to reconciling that friendship, I found it easier to approach an active lifestyle again.
How do we change it back?
Spoiler alert: You don’t. Why would you?
Look, I get it. I know that change is scary and we stand in the place that we are because we’re comfortable where we are, even if it’s comfortable in not great things. But why would you want to stay the same if you know you could make it better?
This is what I have since learned is called a “breakthrough,” or an “epiphany.”
It’s so easy to stick to what we know. To hate and keep hate in our hearts for people that have done us wrong and treated us so poorly, but the reality is, you let them win every time you don’t go out.
I’ve made a name for myself in the video game journalist community, or so I like to think. Believe me, I know how appealing a couch and joy stick sound when wanting to blow off the rest of the world.
But why shut yourself out? Do you feel you don’t have much to offer the world? Because you really do, even if you don’t know it yet.
No changing it back. We can’t ask a priest for a rez, get a 1-up mushroom, or teleport back in time. Our actions have to be accounted to ourselves and we have to live what we do. If you’re not happy with it, that’s OK because you can always work on redemption.
As much as I want to go back into a time before I met a few people I “loved” and just tell myself “Hey, no – don’t talk to that person, it’s just a road of grief and pain and misery,” you just accept it and learn from these mistakes. Or maybe these are not mistakes, maybe they are life lessons that you just had to learn. Either way you look at it, you can’t take it back.
How do we adapt?
We just do. That’s what we do as human beings. People that don’t adapt usually get labeled as crazy, or as a non-conformist. It’s not so much about conforming so much as accepting.
It’s about taking a look back at everything that happened in your life and accepting where you were at to where you have gotten to.
Remember that really cheesy saying? “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey there.”
Yeah, roll your eyes. But it’s real, and it’s a legitimate philosophy.
It’s OK if you’re not ready to admit some truths about yourself. I think the hardest thing in this world is to critique ourselves. But one thing you should remember – don’t listen to a damn word someone else says about you. Be you. Be your best you. If someone doesn’t like you for you, then send them to St. Felicia, the Patron Saint of Farewells. It’s important to love yourself. It’s important to love each other. But it’s OK to take some time out and love yourself more than others.
“Treat yo’ self.”
It’s nice to be back and writing again. Writing is a passion of mine. That passion was corrupted a few years ago. Working for The Hidden Triforce, then starting my own site, The Hyrule Herald, it became work and not leisure. And the fact that the Zelda community is filled with a lot of toxic butt-hurt people, and unfortunately, I am one of those people too. Oh well.
So I come back to this. To my college blog. The blog that I started to write for fun. To have my friends write with me. Unofficially Published. The greatest blog I’ve ever created.
One of the main questions I get is about the redundancy about the title because the articles become published. Yes, this is true; however, I am still unofficially published on the physical page. We’ll see if the book ever makes it out.
Don’t be afraid to be you. It’s nice to be back.
Oh. I have a podcast now. That’s a thing.