A few days to go until the New Year and before I even set down some new year's resolutions to accomplish, or even think about them for that matter, I feel better about myself. I think my previous state of contentment a few months ago was misleading me a bit. After a few days of feeling at peace with myself, things happened at work or at home that caused me to dip back down into a depressed mode.
I didn't enjoy where I was going with life, work, but more importantly who I was and am as a person. I got back into a routine of feeling sorry for myself, hoping someone would hear my quiet pleas for help and get me out of this funk. I've had words of encouragement from friends, and offers to rant towards others, but nothing to really tell me "You have to do this" or "It's alright to be you."
The strongest piece of advice came from my friend Diana who, completely out of the blue in the middle of the night, came online to tell me that I had to continue writing. She asked me to write daily, about anything, and to just write write write. Since she told me that, I've been trying to write more regularly. I will admit, it certainly is tough to write when you're me. Not that it's a hard task to get me online to write, or my typing skills make it difficult to type, or a lack of time, no, it's more about the subject matter at hand.
You see, I have a hard time dealing with small talk. It's a real problem when it comes to talking with people, and it's just as hard when I write. I'm not like most people who are fine with writing about what other people have written online and linking to that website, or talking about my day, ranting on a certain issue to get it off my chest, etc. The stuff I write about has to have some personal meaning to myself, or to a larger audience. It doesn't matter to me that I'm the most frequent visitor to my writings. Not in the least.
There's something special to me about writing and communicating ideas to the unknown in hopes that someone will read this and feel inspired, or curious, or just enjoy reading my thoughts. When I sit down to write, the topic I end up writing about has been on my mind for a while. I feel not an urge but a need to write all of this out. I have the need to share those thoughts with the cosmos.
For example, this current post began with me sitting at the table reading Wired magazine and realizing that I didn't feel down about myself. I was able to just read for hours without moving and stay focused on something without my thoughts drifting off to think about this or that. I only paused to get some tea and that's when it hit me. I don't know if I've ever felt like this about myself in a while. Certainly isn't the same that I was feeling a few months ago. This post is a mark in my own personal history, and I want to make sure I remember this when I reflect back on it in the future, or use it to keep me going in life so I don't get caught in the sludge of depression again.
Last Friday, I went shopping with my sister for Christmas presents. We decided to go check out the new bookstore in town (a Coles) to see what kind of stock they had since they just opened up. I found myself staring at the self-help section and looking through the titles. One title really stood out to me: Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World. I've been working my way through this book the past few late nights, trying to read at least an hour and devote myself to just that- no music, no snacking, no checking the computer for messages, etc. It's been a very zen-like experience for me. There have been several moments where I read something and think, "That's me." I'm not entirely sure why, but I feel a sense of great relief when I come across these little snippets that are speaking directly to me, telling me it's okay to be me. My life is full of people not really telling me how to live life, but how I should be myself. Extremely frustrating.
I'm thinking of writing daily responses to the chapters I get through in my readings, and maybe I should just write responses to most of the things I read about in magazines or online, etc. But for now, a final promise:
I don't know if I've fully come to terms with who I am as a person, but I think I'm on the right path to succeed in life. Finally. I'll try any and all tips that are suggested in this book, and I'm going to dedicate my life to getting things back in order anyway I can.