Wednesday, July 8, 2015

It Keeps Getting Better

Since my early teen years, I've always kept a journal. I have a shelf full of them, and each holds memories of good and bad times, personal victories and epic failures, new starts and closed chapters. On occasion, I like to go back and re-read previous entries, things that marked and shaped my teenage years, my early twenties, and events as recent as a few months ago. Much in the same fashion, I sincerely enjoy the app "Timehop." For me, it serves a similar purpose. I review these things  for the purpose of remembering, but also to remind myself of my resilience and of how life changes.

Today's Timehop post touched me to the core, reminding me that just a year ago today, life seemed a little darker. Sure, I was happy in most respects, but I was going through one of those trying, difficult, heartbreaking periods of change. I was going through a growing up process.

The twenties, I've learned, seem to be one growing up process after another, and this one was no different, although it was a particularly painful growing process. At the time, to remind myself of my own strength and the hope and faith I held onto, I had purchased a sterling silver pair of anchor earrings off of Etsy. I wore them as a reminder for much of last summer, and today's Timehop showcased a picture of them the first time I wore them. 

As I mentioned, this post touched me deeply today. It served as a reminder of what my journals have often reminded me throughout the years. You see, at this time last year, the things I faced seemed all-consuming. The circumstance was all I could see, and I was blinded to everything else. Now, a year after the fact, that circumstance is one that was something I had to go through to be who I am today, much like silver goes through the fire in the refining process. It's also something I rarely think about these days. It's not something that plagues my every day, or even something that still hurts regularly. Yes, I can still be quite vividly reminded of that situation with a song or a memory, but the wound healed, like everything does eventually.

Throughout rough days or hard periods of life, I like to look back on these circumstances. They have changed through the years. In my early teen years, it was a lost basketball game, the end of a season, or circumstances that were out of my control. In my late teen years and early twenties, there were a lot of heartaches that seemed huge at the time. In my mid-twenties, there were so many questions of if I was on the right track, as I fell into the beloved "quarter life crisis" period. Now, there are still things I document, both good and bad. And, I hold onto the reminder that the bad days are temporary. They pass, and we move forward, with each step of life getting better than the last. Eventually, these things become less fresh and painful. Sometimes, there's even humor found in what we once thought was such a big deal. 

Think about it for a minute, we're all still the same people who once cried over broken crayons. No matter how big and bad we get, we once let silly things hurt us. Some hurts, of course, are bigger than that, and hurts get bigger as we get older...but they don't last, and eventually they become those things that make us question why it was such a "big deal" at the time. 

Don't even try to deny've been here.

I haven't blogged in a while, but I felt the need to write down these thoughts today to serve as a reminder to myself and to others. If you, or someone you know, is going through one of those rough times in life, those times where the storm seems to be all that you can see, remember that there is more. Remember, that the sun will shine again, and that soon enough, this will be nothing more than a memory and a reminder of how truly resilient and tough we are as humans. Remember and hold onto the fact that, as my father reminded me often throughout the years, each stage of life gets better, as it comes with new experiences, new people, and new opportunities.

Times of heartache and change do come. They are parts of life. And, though we may hit rock bottom, or just come close, life goes on. 

Rock bottom, you'll know it when you get there...but, just like Ron Burgundy, you can bounce back, too. 

We bounce back, we learn, and we grow. What once seems big and overwhelming is truly just a drop in the ocean of life. We are resilient. Sometimes, we need the reminders of all the battles we have faced to hold onto a renewed strength for today, but take heart that today's challenges, fears, doubts, and hurts will not last. They are growing periods, and we will come out of them with some hard lessons learned and a new, stronger sense of who we are.

As a result of today's Timehop reminder of the places I've been and the things I've seen, I dug out the anchor earrings that I hadn't worn in months and put them on. They're with me all day to remind me to hold onto that resilience and know with certainty that, whatever the coming days, weeks, and months my bring, I will take it on boldly. And, most importantly, I'll come out on the other side stronger, as I have done for years. 

Today my earrings remind me that, even though this is how some days look, it's not how they will remain forever.

Whether you can look at your current situation with humor, or if maybe it's a little too real for that, take heart that one day, you will be able to look back at it and find the humor, along with new found strength. After all, we are all quite capable of bouncing back, even from rising odds.

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