Thursday, October 24, 2013

My Worst Day

A couple weeks ago, I was asked: "What was your worst day and how did you handle it?" I've been procrastinating finishing this post; it's been pretty hard for me to re-live that exact day. But being away from posting makes me feel even worse, so here's my attempt at an answer.


Honestly, I have a lot of bad days. People might not expect that someone who writes about life would have so many bad days, but it happens. This blog is not and will never be me saying that I know exactly how to “handle” life because I don’t. I wish I did, though.
However, just like the fact that doctors aren’t immune to illness, therapists aren’t immune to depression and stress, and on a MUCH smaller level than therapists, those of us who write about life aren’t either, by far.
To answer this question – what was my worst day and how I dealt with it – I can only say that each year I probably have one very memorable terrible "day" or event. 

The worst day I had this year actually happened while I was on vacation, of all places. For spring break, my aunts, uncles, cousins, and I took a little cruise to the Bahamas. We flew out from LAX to Orlando for a night, then boarded the ship the next afternoon. Since we’d technically be out of the country, we were required to switch our phones to Airplane Mode. I ended up turning mine off completely because it really wasn’t crucial for my existence to have my phone on. The day we docked back in Orlando, I turned my phone on and immediately it blew up with texts from my parents and friends asking me to check up on another friend of mine. No explanation – just telling me to check up on this friend.

Feeling mildly annoyed, and because of the three hour time difference between Florida and California where I live, I wasn’t in a hurry to reply to these people. About an hour later while we were all waiting to get off the ship, I texted my mother back and in an hour she texted me back with the most unexpected news. My friend – the one who everyone wanted me to check up on – had just lost her mother in a plane accident.

I stared at the text for about five minutes before I could even speak. When I told the rest of my family who was with me at the time, I was still in massive shock. I read and re-read the text, I even grilled my mother on all the details just to be sure she didn't type something wrong by mistake. About half an hour later, I broke down, and throughout the day I broke down over and over. I got moody towards everyone I was with. One of my cousins left her phone in the car before we went out for dinner and I got upset that she was upset about it because 'why did that matter? Someone I really cared about is gone; why does not having your phone for an hour of your life matter??'

Over the next few months, even now, I'm still not okay with it. I still get angry and think it never should have happened. Because this woman was one of the best people I've ever met. She affected thousands of lives with her life, and she didn't deserve to die the way she did or even in the time that she did. Not like it was anyone's fault, it just never should have happened.

Needless to say, I'm still extremely torn up about this. She's one of the reasons why I considered starting this blog. Because part of me is looking for answers that someone else might be able to afford me, and another part of me wants to share the answers that I've already found.

How did I deal with this? I haven't; not really. The best I've been able to do is accept that the things I'm feeling are normal. I don't have to feel ashamed or rush myself to feel ok again. And that's something that I'd tell anyone asking for advice on how to handle bad days - don't stress over the fact that you're stressing. Know that it's okay to feel whatever you're feeling. And you really aren't alone.


Feel free to ask me questions, leave comments, or find me on any of the social media links below.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Smooth Sailing

I just came across this picture floating around Tumblr.


So I did what any other good "tumbl-er" would do and I reblogged it. However, I added this little note to it: "But a smooth sea never killed a sailor either." 

Let me explain.

I mean this to be thought-provoking, not to say 'hey, if our lives were 100% easy, it wouldn't be all that bad either.' But think about it. Really think about it. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor, but a smooth sea never killed one either."

A lot of what we say and a lot of quotes out there affirm the notion that we are only shaped as individuals by the tough times in our lives - the times where we have to fight to get out of bed in the morning, fight to get through the day, and fight to get things done around the house before finally heading off to sleep and face the same routine the next day. I don't believe this to be true.

Unfortunately, I'm not here to say that better times are definitely up ahead. They very well might be, but there's no way I would know that. We may have to struggle quite a bit in our lives. It's just a fact of life for those of us who are unfortunate enough to be placed in those situations. 

But how much of our thinking is shaped around this notion - a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor - that only the difficult times shape our character? Do we sometimes, subconsciously, create drama for ourselves because our culture seems to advocate this - forgive me for saying - self-pity? If we just took a step back and re-evaluated a couple situations, how many of them might have resulted from us telling ourselves that we can not be happy or else...?

My point is this: if you get to be happy, enjoy it. You don't always have to be suffering. You can let yourself be happy - it's not the end of the world. You can find things in the world that make you happy. You can always learn just as much about life while truly being happy as when you're dealing with hardships. Smooth seas never killed a sailor either. Remember that.

Feel free to ask me questions, leave comments, or find me on any of the social media links below.