I was never originally afraid of change. It always seemed very attractive to me when it was pushed into the near future and I didn’t have to really worry about it much. In other words, I wasn’t afraid of the idea of change. But the next few months are a period of change for me and yes, I’m afraid.
Stevie Nicks sang Landslide on Thursday night and I cried. Not only because that song was a big one in my childhood but because it makes sense to me right now. I’ve become quite comfortable with how my life has been the last few months and now that things are changing, I’m afraid of how it might change me.
But I know that with whatever happens, no matter what changes I go through, it’ll soon be impossible to think of how I was before. Just like I don’t remember how I was a year ago. And in that, I found peace.
Because in this world, there’s something to be learned from everything – especially in the bad things. And whilst you may not think that when you’re plunged into the icy waters of a depressive episode or are completely in denial about a situation, when you do take that much needed step back, it will come to you. That’s where the self belief and trust comes in.
I’ve spent the last year caught up in a whirlwind of intense situations, all of which have left me feeling a range of emotions. I’ve spent many evenings walking home, trying to make sense of the world that lay before me, of my life I felt was unravelling, of obstacles and panic attacks and worry that tired me out to the point I couldn’t get out of bed. But I emerged from the despondency. And I have changed for the better as a result of it and for that, I wouldn’t regret it for the world.
I’ve learned that you should always trust your gut. It doesn’t matter how many excuses you tell yourself or how much you ignore it, that guttural feeling is there for a reason – to keep you safe.
I’ve learned that you have every right as the next person to be on this planet. Stop apologising for taking up space, for speaking out (as long as it doesn’t hurt another person), or for simply just being.
I’ve learned that is ok to mourn the loss of something that wasn’t for you. Whether it was something that never was or something that was bad for you, allow yourself to grieve and move on.
I’ve learned that you should never place your happiness in someone else’s hands. They will drop it every time.
I’ve learned that the only important things in our lives are the people we surround ourselves with. But I’ve also learned that you can’t make anyone stay. Which leads me to my next point…
Not everyone is going to be as passionate about you as you are about them. Caring for people won’t make them care about you any more. Wanting something won’t make it any more perfect for you. Learn when to fight for it and learn when to let go.
I’ve learned that it’s ok to listen to Landslide by Stevie Nicks at 1:30am and cry all the way home.
I’ve learned that if you have a choice, always choose to be kind. Especially when you don’t feel like it – be more kind than necessary.
I’ve learned that the most beautiful thoughts and moments come in self-reflection. In the still evenings in the centre of the city, the bright sunny mornings of leafy avenues on the way to work, the 3:30am bus rides to the airport, the solitary walks to the quays and back.
I’ve learned that there is little more comforting than hearing a song for the one hundredth time and discovering a whole new meaning in it.
And yes, while your life is one long collection of experiences, of relationships, friendships, discovery and decisions, I’ve learned to approach everything with an open mind and a clean slate. Because you just never know where it might take you.