Wow, this year has really been a series of ups and downs. So much has changed so quickly, but at the same time it hasn’t. Things started getting really rough back in 2010, and things have seemed to keep going down hill since than. However, I want to make this new year different.
Yes, many things that happen in life are out of my control. But at the same time, when things get tough, I am one to just take it. I live my life as a punching bag, I always have. I know that I am a stronger person then I portray myself as being. I fear conflict, with other people, and with life in general. I let people walk all over me because I fear being hated. Why? It’s childish and silly.
Every year, I, like so many others, go into the new year with the phrase, “20** … Be good to me.” Now here is a thought, why would life just suddenly get better without putting in the effort? Really, life is going to be hard, maybe even suck, 90% of the time. But it is the way that we react to what life throws at us that molds our happiness. Things are going to happen, we can either choose to play the victim and complain about how unfair life is, or we can choose to try to see the light in the situation.
Trust me, I know as well as anyone that it is not that easy. One of the worst things that people seem to always say to me, and to other people with struggles similar to mine, is to just, “Choose to be happy.” Well thanks! Wow! I never thought of that before.
It’s not as easy as just choosing to be happy. Depression, eating disorders, OCD, anxiety, bipolar, everything bad that happens in life… no one chooses it. But at the same time, the people who break out of the darkness are the people that choose to fight the dark monsters within them.
In my junior year of high school, in religion class we read, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Viktor Frankl. If you haven’t read this book, you should. The story is an autobiographical piece, half of it taking place during Frank’s time in a concentration camp during WWII. One line in the book that really stuck with me was that when all freedom is taken from you, the one freedom that you will always have is the power to choose your attitude. In the camp, there were two types of people. There were those who just gave up, choosing to lay in bed all day until death came to take them. Then there were those who chose to fight. Even in the camp, a place so horrible that it’s hard to even imagine, they were able to find small glimpses of happiness. While working outside, the took in the beauty of nature, when they could, they found happiness through song, religion, anything. These were the people that made it out of the camp alive. These people chose to look for small glimpses of beauty in what seemed like nothing but ugliness.
I aspire to be like these people.
I want to help myself, to truly help myself. These bad feelings that I have… the depression, the eating disorder, the anxiety, they have been with me for so long that they have begun to feel like my identity. I have been too afraid to let them go. Who will I be without them? Normal? Happy? No. That must be impossible for me… Right?
But, when I really think about it… I believe that everybody deserves to be happy. Every single person but me deserves happiness. Now, that really doesn’t make sense now does it?
Change is scary. It’s uncomfortable. Refusing help is assuring that I stay miserable. But, even miserable, at least I am still in my comfort zone. What happens when I one day escape these monsters in my brain that are holding me back from reaching a better place? It’s a scary thought.
And that brings me to my New Years resolution. I was to take risks. I want to do things that scare me.
Now, when I first told my mom this, I think I scared her a little. By saying I want to take risks, I am not saying that I want to jump out of airplanes. I want to take risks in things that matter. I want to try to get out of this comfort zone that I hide myself in because I am too scared of making myself uncomfortable.
I might be switching schools.
I might be changing majors.
Changing majors to something that I am passionate about something that I have always loved, but pushed to the side because it’s not a secure thing to pursue.
I want to do things that make me happy.
I want to do things that make me feel fulfilled.
I don’t want to be one of those people who blink and suddenly they are 40 and working a job that they hate. I don’t want to regret things. I want to find something, somewhere, that finally makes me happy.
And that is my new year’s tangent.
Happy New Years everyone. I wish you nothing but happiness in this year to come. But remember, to find happiness, you need to try.
I believe in all of you. Let’s make 2014 a great year.