2AM Thoughts – What Do You Want In Life?

It’s 2AM and I should be asleep. I need sleep, God knows, there’s Monday starting rotation in Paediatrics awaiting, I have to clear out the rest of my apartment tomorrow and I am on medication that my body is still adjusting to in addition to a cold that isn’t physically making me any more prepared for life right now. Yet, here I am at 2AM, thinking. I have been thinking too much today (well, yesterday, technically) and I wish I had a switch in my head to make it stop. I contemplate many things, have debates in my head with myself about life and its many issues and like algebra, my brain works until it has reached the “x = ?” final line. What is the equation? “What do you want in life?” We get asked that question all the time and we are told by many how important it is to eventually figure that out. Most of us have a broad idea or else, a vague one, at least. I thought I was amongst that crowd of broadly yet vaguely knowing my greatest aspirations, yet today, my heart came up with a different answer on its quest towards banishing the pain that suffocates it daily. Its answer wasn’t the one of hopeful motivation I sought out to find. Its answer? Nothing. What if I honestly do not truly want anything in life anymore? Well, onto equation two we go…

Realising I didn’t want anything in life anymore that would make my heart race towards something promising contentment, I found was a double-edged sword. Not wanting anything anymore for myself or having anything to aspire towards loving basically speaks volumes for the root of its cause; depression. Depression, I realised today as I spoke with my friend is something that has rendered me colour blind. It makes all its afflicted colour blind. I asked her what things she loves and why and I asked questions about what would make her happy. Is she happy? Is all of this enough for her heart? Having the most simplest of answers, like food, coffee, friends, outfits and some day hopefully work, I felt like she was describing things I commonly know from a perspective that made her see colour whereas I only see black outlines I saw no point of. Perhaps her definition of happiness wouldn’t match mine. Perhaps more matters to me. Things like empathy and love and kindness and beauty that has nothing to do with daily trivial life. But somehow, I don’t believe those truly exist anymore and if they did, wanting them has only ever set me up for disappointment. So I stopped wanting anything. I do value relationships very much but I don’t believe their capacity to consistently last. I no longer believe the beautiful words many utter so effortlessly initially only to have them reversed and neglected later on and a false reality created.

But perhaps not wanting anything isn’t the worst thing in the world either. Perhaps that is how one acquires the state of just “being.” No expectations, no race towards something that creates anxiety and fear of not obtaining it and no creation of an unattainable world of colour. Perhaps that enables one to give and care without expecting that in return. Perhaps that removes the shades we wish to view the world through and just see it as is. We are no longer “domesticated” by society as to what should and shouldn’t be. Maybe it’s okay that a starbucks coffee, chocolate, an extravagant meal and dressing up to finally just feel beautiful and be told I am isn’t what would make me happy. I have started a course in dialectical behaviour therapy as requested by my Doctor, in my battle against this insidious illness, and I decided to be open minded and do it even though throughout most of it I still don’t see how it could truly work and question it. You are giving me a defined recipe as to what is okay to think, feel and say because my brain’s thinking is “distorted” by a neurochemical and neurostructural heartache. You are trying to create new circuits and rewire me to make my purpose in life a mindful one of loving coffee, food, goals and friendships enough to the point of making me happy. Yet, why do those things make me feel only empty? You are telling me to reinvent myself according to what would make me better and stronger. But perhaps my wish is to see truth and to see truth, I must not want to see anything preconceived. 

I don’t believe there is no beauty left to find amongst this destructed earth on which we dwell. I believe souls continue on in their beauty and that nature’s intent continues to be because that’s what its existence has ordained it to do. But I believe we are controlled by fear and fear has made us construe together the image of what is a safe portion of happiness to hold onto. But I do not want safe. I want real and real I think requires no expectation of what one’s life should be. Perhaps life is not to be created by us but life seeks out to create us if we are willing to take out our selective viewing and societal beliefs. Life’s truth may not be the same thing as your truth and maybe that is why so many of us will never truly be happy. 

I guess what I am trying to say is I don’t want anything, because I want to take worldly wants and myself out of the equation for once. Just viewing without judging I think is an exceptional challenge for the human mind but perhaps we will be surprised by what we find if we managed to do it. I want to live inherently and not according to construed definitions of what a heart should hope for. So maybe, that is what will lead me home; becoming a discoverer and no longer a definer of happiness.

You’re Going To Fail But You’ve Got To Rise Again

You’re going to fail no matter how hard you try to be perfect. No matter how hard you work and all the effort you put into everything in your life. No matter your attempts to make everything fall according to plan, and despite the meticulous step-by-step path you create for yourself, sometimes you’re going to slip. Sometimes you’re going to mess up. Sometimes you’re not going to measure up, you’re going to falter, you’re going to let yourself and others down, you’re going to trip and land flat on your back. You’re going to fail.

But that’s okay.

No one in this world is perfect. No one has it all together, despite the photos and social media posts and smiling faces when you happen to bump into that person in public. No one is getting through life unscathed. No one is continuously on the up-and-up, never having a moment where they make a mistake or feel empty.

We’re all in this mess of life, trying to fight through, trying to make sense of our troubles, trying to find love and companionship and answers and hope.

And in this mess, we’re going to experience triumph and success and happiness, and we’re going to fail—that’s just how it is. But you cannot let the moments you falter change your course. You cannot let what brings you down shift your future, your perspective, your purpose.

You’re going to fail, and fail hard. But that doesn’t mean you’re any less of a person.

You cannot let the moments you slip change your self-image. Just because you messed up or went through something awful doesn’t mean that you are unworthy. It doesn’t mean that you need to carry your pain around with you like a badge on your chest for everyone to see.

You’re going to lose people you really cared about. You’re going to feel like your heart was dragged in dirt. You’re going to aim for a promotion or raise and not get it. You’re going to experience physical pain, mental pain of exhaustion and emotional pain you cannot comprehend at times. You’re going to create beautiful things and you might lose beautiful things. You’re going to fail.

But you’re going to learn too. You’re going to grow. You’re going to take the ways that life has defeated you, and turn them around into lessons. You’re going to find new wings and fly all over again.

Because defeat does not and should not ever define you. And you can’t let it.

So take the negative moments of your life and try to see the positive. Keep your head up and crawl through the lowest times until you can find your footing again. Don’t be afraid of starting over and letting go of that which no longer serves you. Don’t be afraid of continuing on through your brokenness.

You will be okay. You just have to hold on through the hard times and lean into the good. You have to know that life may always have difficulties but that doesn’t mean it can’t be good.

You have to remind yourself of all that you’ve pushed through already and the strength within you. And you have to take the courage, the will, the fight from inside yourself and battle back.

It’s a bad day maybe. Maybe a bad week or a bad month or a bad circumstance. But as clichèd as this may sound… It’s not a bad life. Remind yourself of that and move forward, never letting what has defeated you convince you that you will never rise again.

Because you can. And you will.

Healthy, Happy And Hurting

I know, that title hardly makes any sense. How can one be healthy, happy and hurting altogether? Usually when I sift through my mind and try to summarise my general state of being from all the thoughts and feelings I’ve gathered, I come up with the answer of broken or whole, content or anxious, in a good place or in a terrible place or just not even in a place. It’s like a constant question my heart keeps asking me is, “Are we okay? Will I keep beating?” There have been times my head undoubtedly screamed yes and other times where my head uncertainly, quietly whispered no. Today in asking myself that question again, as I seem to do most days, my answer is a blend.

Looking back to the past has its benefits. As I was paging through photos from the past decade up until now my head relived some of those times comparing them to now. Comparing my new self to my old self. While I stared back at the younger me I felt like I still knew her so well but that I also no longer am or know her at all, I just remember what it was like to walk in her shoes. And in realising that, I felt both loss and gain. I may be sounding very vague right now in this ambivalence so let me clarify.

I have been waking up every day for this year thinking the answer to my heart’s constant question is a no. No, because I subjected my heart to once again being shredded by a man, I subjected my heart to the striking blow of failure, I subjected it to days of doubt and immense sadness and I’ve subjected it to regret. The person typing all this right now has a heart that is in the state of the after effects of all that subjectivity and so, of course in its frazzled state my answer to it every morning is no. No, we are not okay. We are just trying to be. Possibly, we are even living in a facade of “okayness” that’s bound to come crashing down inevitably. But then I see myself a couple of years ago, I really see myself, and I feel the feelings she felt and remember the thoughts that she had and I realise, she really didn’t know the answers to any outcomes she thought she had predicted. She had predicted pain, yes. And she was right in that sense, yes. But pain, she should’ve realised, is never a defining factor of her heart’s question of “Will we be okay? Will I keep beating?” Pain is a constant one lives with. 

There will always be pain. Always. In some form or another. I don’t believe there is a constant period of absolute bliss in one’s head and heart. Not even a day of absolute bliss. So if that is your life goal, you may want to give up on that now. Absolutes all too often don’t exist. In addition what I realised was how little the life you’re living and the one you’re striving for is the goal of happiness. Why? Because it’s unpredictable, not a constant and even chaotic at times. So what do we do to live? We shift our focus to our state of mind and leave behind our focus on the environment we find ourselves in. We work towards a healthy mind and then we can withstand the chaos and walk in peace right within it.

I lived a life of having a depressed mind with distorted views, misconceptions and immense anxiety of feeling out of control of my life and what I wanted, where I was supposed to be and the fact that I wasn’t. I remember the depths of the depths I was submerged in in the pain. I will never forget that intense pain when I was at my very worst state in depression and comparing that to the person I am now, I am beyond thankful for not being in that place anymore and I know how to not ever be in that place again by changing the way my mind thinks and views its state of being and shifting my focus. So I realise, I am now indeed healthy and in that healthiness there is happiness and amidst that, I am still hurting, but I am okay. I am good.