July 17, 2019 – As I ramble on.

Lately I’ve been realizing just how much the weather affects my mood. At what felt like the height of my struggles earlier this year, we went for a period of nearly a month in which temperatures outside were -30 degrees Celsius or below. It was difficult to go outside for more than a few seconds without feeling physical pain from the cold.

The past few weeks have been exceptionally trying. And, as I stare outside at the pouring rain, for the seventeenth day in a row, I know that this weather isn’t causing my issues, but it’s definitely contributing to my mood being so much worse. We’ve had an exceptionally cold, wet, rain-filled summer thus far… if you even want to call it a summer. It feels more like fall, to be totally honest.

Keeping with that theme of being totally honest, I’m scared about the future. More distinctly, I’m scared that I don’t have a future. I’m scared that I’ll never amount to anything, that this hamster wheel I’m spinning in will continue for the rest of my life.

Last time I went for lunch with Knight, his sister and his sister’s family, she explained how I’m feeling in a more accurate when then I’ve ever been able to put into words.

“It’s hard,” she said. “You want so badly to know that things are going to work out and that everything’s going to be okay, but the universe doesn’t tell you when that’s going to happen. It would be so nice if you could just know a day, a time to expect it. A time so that you wouldn’t have to worry so much and you could just focus on getting through to that day. But that’s not how the world works.”

In a nutshell, that’s really it. The worst part of being in this situation is not knowing how, or when everything’s going to work out. Or even if everything’s going to work out. I wan’t so badly to know, but I really don’t have the answers… just a lot of questions.

I’m taking it one day at a time. Or, at least I am trying. And I’m trying to stay positive… I really am. Today, it’s a positive that… yeah, I started writing this four hours ago and I’ve been thinking about it since then and I’m having a hard time. I’m thankful for the things that I have in my life, I really am. I’m thankful for the people I have in my life. Honestly, it saves my sanity that I get to talk to Knight every night before he goes to bed. I guess I’m just struggling to be positive right now. I think it’s important to note that you can be thankful and grateful for what you have while still having a hard time being happy.

I think that’s a huge misconception about mental illness. People who don’t understand it will say things like ‘But your life is so great’ or ‘You have so much’. I do have a lot and I am very grateful for what I have. Having good things in your life doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to feel down, sad or upset sometimes. I’m getting off topic.

Positives. Positives. Try to stay positive, self. You can do this. You can see the good in the world, even when it feels like things are crashing down around you.

I really need a little bit of sunshine in my life today. I feel so needy and lousy saying that. But my oh my… universe… if there’s a sign you can send, I’m ready for it.

Good Friends

I’ve always been a firm believer in the distinction between friends and acquaintances. And, though over the years I’ve qualified some into the friend category that really didn’t deserve to be there, or belong there, I’ve learned my lessons and I think I have a sincere understanding of those that cultivate my inner circle.

See, good friends don’t want things from you. Good friends don’t put stipulations on your friendship. Good friends are just there for you. Good friends help when they can, listen when they can’t and call just to genuinely see how you’re doing. Good friends add to your life. And you, if you’re a good friend, do the same for them.

Good friends are good people. And you know who are good people and who aren’t.

When you really stop to think about it, you know who your good friends are. Like they say in the song, ‘somebody’s gonna drop everything, run out and crank up there car, hit the gas to get there fast and never stop to think what’s in it for me… or it’s way to far’.

Are you a good friend?

Do you have good friends? Is there anyone you’ve categorized as a friend who is more of an acquaintance?

Can you be a better friend?

How can you be a better friend?

Powerful people empower people.

It sounds cliche, and I guess it is. But, the important part here is that it’s true. Don’t waste your time with silly little people that bring you down. What’s important is surrounding yourself with people who celebrate your successes, push you to be better and believe you’re always capable of more.

When people feel empowered, they believe more in themselves and their ability to control both their personal and their professional lives. Helping to empower others promotes optimism, self-sufficiency and can help immensely with ‘the battle’. As much as we like to act/pretend or believe that what others say and do doesn’t effect us, it does in a big way.

So if you’re feeling up for it, and want to empower those around you, here are some small suggestions of how to be a better support system, mentor and all around good fucking person.

  1. Always offer the words ‘thank you’. It sounds so simple but they seem to be the most undervalued words in the English language. The truth is, when you say thank you, you’re letting someone know you appreciate what they’ve done for you. And when it’s not always clear, that ‘thank you’ can go a long way.
  2. Give your time and attention without asking for anything in return.
  3. Give sincere compliments. Actually work at it if you have to. Why? Because you should never pass up the opportunity to make someone smile, and, make them feel better about their day.
  4. Go out of your way to help new people. Whether it’s a neighbour, a coworker or however they fit into your life, it’s an unnerving feeling being the new person. Make their transition a little easier by going out of your way to introduce yourself and provide help where you can.
  5. Share successes. When you find success, the people that matter will celebrate your success. The people that matter are people you’ll want to share your successes with. So, spread the wealth.
  6. Listen, listen, listen. Sometimes… actually, most of the time, what people really need is someone who will hear them. So, listen. The time will come when someone will return the favour, trust me.
  7. Exemplify the behaviour you wish for others to follow. When it really comes down to it, good people attract good people and assholes attract assholes. Who do you want in your life?
  8. Provide positive reinforcements. No, human beings don’t need compliments to be successful. But if you help someone in celebrating the small victories, each time you do it, it’ll boost their confidence more and more.
  9. Be honest, always. Honesty, even when awful, is far more valuable than any lie, no matter how comforting.
  10. Promote autonomy. Allow others to know you believe in them while giving them the leeway to do things for themselves.

At the end of the day, it’s like my grandpa always said… treat others the way you want to be treated. If you’re empowering others your benefitting others. And, if you’re empowering others, they’ll empower you. It’s a nice circle to be in. So please, consider it.

Operation Positivity

Kootenay National Park, British Columbia, Canada

I did this a few weeks back and it really helped with my outlook. This week, I’m making it my goal to be positive. I’m going to think positively, see the glass as half full and try to see the good moments, no matter how small I might think they are.

Today I am grateful that I’m not going to work for a boss who treats people so poorly and I’m hopeful for the future. I’m hopeful that things will change, turnaround, pick up for the better.

Today I am going to make the conscious effort to smile. And I look forward to one day not having to make the effort because smiling will just come naturally. Because being happy will be a reality, not a desire. Because things will have worked out for me. Because I didn’t give up hope when it mattered most.

It’s Monday… let’s do this world.

Late night ramblings…

The more sad my mood, the more often I come to my blog. I’m not sure if that’s a commonplace thing, or perhaps it’s just me. But, when you find something that allows you to put your thoughts to paper (so to speak) it’s a lot better than keeping them floating around your head.

You know when someone says something that insults you, but you don’t want to let them know they’ve insulted yo because you’re worried you’ll come across as insecure, or soft, or lacking in strength? It’s like… you don’t want them to know you’re so easy to hurt or offend. And why? Perhaps if they knew they hurt or offended me, they’d think twice before they said it next time. More than likely not, though. At least that’s what I’m telling myself to try and make myself feel better.

I’m an overly sentimental person in general. I always have been. I carry this overwhelming love, compassion and desire to see people do well. People I know, people I don’t, completely strangers… those poor kids in Africa on the commercials for organizations like UNICEF, they make me cry. I wonder how I could have been born with so much and they be born with so little. I’ve always tried to use that sentiment to my advantage. After all, when you care about the world, that should make it easier for you to make an actual difference, right?

The downside to caring about everything is that it seems like people carry the ability to hurt me so much more than others. It’s hard. And I’m not saying this to try and play victim. I’m saying this because… I need to learn how to develop thicker skin.

I just want to do right by the world, whilst making myself happy in the process, whilst not being taken advantage of. It seems like a lofty goal, and I know that the making myself happy part is a tad selfish, but we all need to be a little selfish now and again.

Feeling a little lost today.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about time. The time we give, the time we take, the time we steal, the time we make, how much time we get, how much time we don’t… it’s crazy to me how two people can go through the same six months together and come out as completely separate people.

If you’d asked me a year ago if I thought I’d be this person today, I would have said ‘hell to the no’. Hell, if you’d asked me six months ago if I’d be here today, I’d have laughed you right out of my house. That’s the thing about time though… though we all expect it, you never really see it coming.

I’ve changed a lot… so much so that it scares me sometimes. So, I try to not think about it. My priorities have changed. My desires have changed. My outlook on life as a whole… has changed. Does anything ever stay the same?

As I navigate this new version of me, hoping to find happiness in a world that doesn’t seem to have a ton of it these days, I’m wondering if I even know what happiness is anymore. Would I know happiness if it were staring me in the face? I have so many questions and with next to no answers.