I never intended this blog to become negative, or bitter, or any of those things I don't want to be. Unfortunately I think some of that has happened, both to me and the blog. While I've been feeling bad for feeling bad, I have failed to write anything. A self imposed punishment of sorts. An isolation, which I seem so good at. Ask my friends I keep avoiding.
I've always wanted this blog to be lighthearted and fun, but sometimes thought provoking and reflecting. Those things that are me at my best. Lately I haven't been so much my best, so I didn't have it to bring. A very good friend reminded me yesterday that I had to own it and move on.
As you can probably tell from the last few entries, I've been going through an existential crisis, or midlife crisis, depending on how you look at it. Either way, it has SUCKED. It robbed me of my self confidence and my self worth. Everything seemed to be a crisis and it all seemed too much to bear. That straw that breaks the camel's back really can be as insignificant as a straw, or a late payment on utility bill that leaves you in the dark for a few hours.
A few days ago I ran into an old acquaintance I haven't seen in about five years. After a conversation of about ten minutes he turned to me and asked "what happened to you?" "You used to be so self confident." It was like a smack in the face. Even when I was unsure of myself, I was more confident than I have been lately.
I know enough about self esteem and confidence to know it doesn't go away over night. It's a process. It's a gradual chipping away of our self image. I think my decline began with getting laid off, gaining thirty pounds, finding no one out in the job market seemed to want me, going back to an old job making not much more than half of what I used to make doing the same job. Being told I wasn't worth my old salary, etc.... Yes, I still have some anger. It's the only thing sometimes that keeps me from giving up all together.
I know I'm not alone in this. Many Americans are facing the same circumstances. I know I've faired better than many, and I am grateful, but still the anger comes.
In the midst of all this lately, a very dear friend of mine decided she could no longer fight the good fight. It had become too much. She decided to end her life. I don't know what the straw was that finally broke her back, and probably never will know. That scares me. What straw might still await me? Could she have held on for one more day to see if it got better? Would it have been better the next day? I don't know. I only hope she's found peace now.
I had a couple of great conversations with friends lately and I realized the power resides with me. Only I can make the changes necessary to put my life where I want it to be. It sounds so elementary, but in the midst of the darkness, it seems so big. So, I gather up all my strength and I take a step forward. The first step is that I stop apologizing and asking forgiveness for my life. Then I start living it the way I want to live it. On my own terms.
I can't say I'm done with my funk, but I am starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I also know I have some choices I need to make. Some things in my life are not working. I think it's time to start exploring the alternatives. This is where faith comes in.
I've landed on my feet lots of times in life and I'm gathering up the faith to believe I will again. Giving up is not an option for me right now. Becoming stronger because of my struggles is.