I’m getting ready to go on vacation, and it hasn’t been the most uplifting time around here, and then just as I sat to write this, the news of Robin Williams’s suicide broke.
I feel like we need something inspiring on the blog today, something to counterbalance the mud pit of suck.
I haven’t been very inspired lately. Mostly I’ve been bone-weary, and that’s when the doubts began to pop up and frolic in my landscape of discouragement. They didn’t help my mood any. I felt pretty horrible until I remembered something.
Sometimes things get worse before they get better.
I don’t know if you all are going to find that very inspiring, but it helped me a lot last week, so it’s what I’ve got for you.
Some of you will remember that I had my birthday epiphany about a month and a half ago. I wasn’t sure at the time what was going to happen with it, or if it would even stick.
Well, it stuck.
And it has been both a difficult and an amazing thing. In the long term, I’m pretty sure it will be mostly amazing. But in the short term, it has been mostly difficult. At the threat of such a large change in perspective, all my deepest fears have been coming out to play and fight for their continued existence, and they are as big and as scary as they’ve ever been. Meanwhile, I am already seeing myself and my life differently, and making different choices as a result, but I haven’t yet developed the emotional muscle and skills to deal with these choices with anything resembling ease.
So yes. In some ways things have gotten worse. But I can see how they are going to be better. I can see the people-pleasing behavior beginning to recede as I make real progress in setting firm boundaries. I can hear the desperation in the loudness of my self-critical thoughts. I can appreciate the generous and heartfelt support of the friends I’ve reached out to in the last few weeks. Some of them are newer friends or don’t know me as well, and it certainly felt like they could have easily dismissed my overtures and requests for support. But they didn’t. They were there for me, and even while I was in the middle of disappointing and discouraging circumstances, these people helped rebuild my hope in what my future could look like.
So if I can leave you with one more inspiring thought, it is this: You matter. Your choices matter. You reaching out to others and being there for others when they reach out, that matters. Your kindness matters.
It has certainly mattered to me.