New Year, Old Beginnings

How many new beginnings is a person allotted? One for each new year? New month? New day?

A good story has a beginning, middle, and end, not infinite beginnings. I intend mine to be a good story. I shall not endlessly rewrite the first chapter, seeking its perfection. I shall progress and grow, regress and change.

The new year hands us a blank page, inviting us, daring us, to write our future; and we reach out with eager, childlike hands and giddy minds racing with ideas of all the scribbles we will put on it. But it need not be a new story, merely, greatly, a new chapter. The Old You may be permitted to live in the pages pressed against the new, her ink occasionally bleeding through to touch and taint the crisp new pages.

Old experiences and effigies of character need not be thrown aside to make way for the new. They may be carried along, regarded with equal importance, for their assemblage acts as a pedestal, hoisting you ever higher.

I will hope for this chapter to be a better one, but will not regard it as useless if it is worse.

After many long, dull chapters, I have grown disinterested in my own story. I long to restart, with a fresh page. But a fresh page does not bring with it a fresh heroine. Therefore, I must simply make this one grow.

Simply.

How does one rise to meet a challenge, when the challenge shrinks horizons rather than expanding them? This is my question for this new chapter. If I can find the answer, I am sure I will find with it a greater appreciation for my heroine.

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5 Quotes + Tips That Get Me Through Bad Days

 I am the one thing in life I can control.

— Hamilton (Musical)

The following line is equally good — “I am inimitable / I am an original” — but this is the one I find most helpful. You will never be able to control other people’s actions. You will never be able to control what people think about you.  There is only one thing in this world that you have complete control over, and that is you. Your thoughts, your actions, what you put into this world, that’s all you need to worry about. Life gets quite a bit lighter when you accept and let go of the things you can’t control.

Motion creates emotion.

— Tony Robbins

Usually, if you have depression or something similar, everyone tells you to “go outside, get exercise!” with the goal in mind being to rid you of your gloomy depressive haze and make you happy. This quote, however, suggests motion as a means of creating emotion. Any emotion. Because whether we’re angry or happy or anything else, emotion is what gives us the drive to do things. And, often, if you’ve just been lying in bed all day, you don’t currently have a huge breadth of emotions.

The motion doesn’t have to be big, anything to give you a slight change of scene or viewpoint. Depending on the day, it can just be getting out of bed. Judge for yourself what you’re up for. I recommend putting on music you can’t not dance to (which is early 2010s pop for me. Happy nostalgia can be very helpful nostalgia!), but other, less exerting suggestions include: reading a book, taking a walk, sitting outside, calling a friend, texting a friend dumb memes that you know will make you both laugh, and putting on a new outfit and showering if you haven’t already.

Have courage and be kind.

— Cinderella (2015)

This quote has honestly become my life mantra. As long as I have it, I can get through anything, because if my only goal is to be as kind as I can no matter what (disclaimer within reason obviously blah blah blah if someone is stabbing you you don’t need to be nice to them), I no longer have anything to worry about.

Having a goal that’s aimed outwards — trying to make other people feel better rather than trying to make yourself feel better — can take a lot of pressure off, and be really helpful in getting you outside of yourself for a little. When I had auditions and rehearsals that I was really nervous about, my therapist suggested thinking about the nerves of the other people auditioning and rehearsing instead of my own. When we decided that my goal would be to make the people around me feel more comfortable and not worry so much about myself, although I was still scared, it didn’t seem to matter as much anymore. Trying to hide or calm anxiety is an extremely difficult and scary task; complimenting someone is not. So that was my lens: find the good in other people and bring it to their attention. Many times, approaching people in order to give them a compliment was still scary for me, but a smile often suffices when words can’t quite make it out. A quick, genuine smile at someone who looks scared lets them know that you’re on their side, and can go quite a long way.

Living by this quote is also helpful in taking down the stress of arguments and other unpleasant situations. If I feel that someone has been rude to me, but I can recount everything I did as being only kind, I can at least be confident that I did nothing to provoke it. And, referring back to quote one, that means that I can let go of it without worrying about it!

When a flower doesn’t bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.

— Alexander den Heijer

Pretty self-explanatory! ♡

Imma keep running ’cause a winner don’t quit on themselves.

— Beyoncé, “Freedom”

And finally, Queen Bey. This lyric changed how I thought about myself, and about healing myself. I have the potential to do incredible things, to have so many new experiences that change and shape who I am. When I quit on myself, I quit on that future me that would have been. I quit on everything I would have done, and everyone who would have been effected by future me’s existence.

My existence is to be prized and valued, but prizes don’t come without hard work, dedication, and courage. So Imma keep running ’cause a winner don’t quit on themselves. 

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Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash

 

Idols/Favorite Authors — Poem

I build a home in your words

Sink into the comfy armchair of your thoughts

Prop up one of your pages, a mirror in which to do my morning makeup

I strap on your sentences, ready to face the world

With your paragraphs in my pockets, I am safe

They are not a helmet or a shield, but the ability to bleed

I press them against my heart, wishing I could push them straight through my chest

But I can’t. And that’s okay

Because I will grow up in the home you have built me

And then I will build one of my own

 

Photo by Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

You Are Someone’s Light

This is sort of an extension or offshoot of my previous post (actually, the last line of this was the inspiration for my previous post, but I’d saved it as a note on my phone a few days prior to writing the real thing and completely forgot to put it back in).

So yeah, maybe read that post, and then pretend it flows nicely into this one? Or don’t, I mean, whichever, it’s your choice…

ANYWAY, as a writer, and as someone who ha(d/s) depression, it was extremely difficult to go through a period of time where I felt like I could write about nothing but depression. What kind of writer was I if I could only write about one thing? If I had no ideas anymore, and could only write descriptions of whatever I was feeling at the time?

Not the kind I used to be, not the kind I wanted to be, and not the kind I would be in the future. But that didn’t mean that what I was writing then wasn’t just as important as any of the writing I would do before or after.

When you feel really really bad, your writing reflects that, so you think, “What’s the point of putting this out anywhere?” You don’t want to be the one spreading negativity and making other people feel just as bad as you do.

But I’ve learned that, most of the time, that’s not actually what happens. When I first wrote and published something related to depression, I was surprised to find that people were actually thanking me for writing it. I had been able to capture in words something they couldn’t. I have, many times, been in the opposite position of searching and searching for something to describe what I was feeling in a way that I couldn’t, but I hadn’t considered that I could also be the source of one of those things.

But anyone can be. You can be. Out of all the people in the world, there is always someone else going through what you are, who will breathe a sigh of relief and say “thank you” upon finding your words. And for every person who is going through what you are, there is someone who isn’t, who will be grateful to finally understand what a friend or family member is going through because of you.

You cannot write for everyone. Some people will scroll past your work unfazed. But for some, it will be what finally takes just a bit of the crushing weight off their shoulders. And I have found that writing for those people — even if it it’s just a few, or even just one — is enough.

I have learned that even in your darkest moments, you can be someone else’s light.