“As I write this I’m overwhelmed with negative emotions. My mind feels as if it were being submerged in ice cold water.
I’m far beyond distraught. I’ve been living carelessly and taking life by the reigns. Many times I’ve asked myself, am I jumping too far? Too fast? Fortunately every time I’ve had the strength to recover my positivity before I slipped into an abyss of self-doubt. While I’ve faced many trials so far on my path, the obstacles thrown at me tonight by and far take the cake.
Never in my life have I been the victim of a serious crime. The time had to come eventually right? Why not right now, life doesn’t care about how hard you work. Time won’t stop to give you time to heal your wounds. The only thing us humans have control over is ourselves. Anything outside of that is up to fate—”
How could this happen?
Everyone has a moment in life where they find themselves at an impasse, facing some negative event or another. Whether it be a life-altering obstacle or some event of a less serious nature, it’s hard to make it to adulthood; or even through adolescence, without encountering this distinct feeling of helplessness. This emotion can be very impactful, therefore our basic instinct would usually push the mind to snap into a frenzy. This may lead to you focusing strongly on the negative event in search of justification. Of course, this leads to immediately exhausting time and energy brooding over the defeatist questions I mentioned preceding this paragraph. While this may be a natural response, it is definitely not a productive one.
Let me explain why.
Just last night, at about 1:00A.M. after finishing my nightly gym routine, I began to journal. Flustered, frustrated and furious, I set loose with nothing but negativity to draw my inspiration from. The excerpt sampled at the beginning of this article is a damning precursor to the article I am writing right now. Can you see how devastating a setback can be to the creative mind when allowed to fester in negativity?
I’m sure you all are wondering what happened. For starters, I’m broke. Not too uncommon for someone in their very, very early 20’s. Paired with that, I’m a tiny bit heartbroken.
Or maybe a mid-sized bit is more of an appropriate measure.
Either way, heartbreak is also a prevalent feature in early adulthood. So, chuck those two woes in with the stress of the many responsibilities and inconvenient circumstances I’ve assumed. Now to top it off, throw in a heaping spoonful of concentrated bad luck.
Immediately after finding direction, constructing a strategy that would allow me flexibility while working from my car, I check my bank account to find that someone somewhere had ripped off my debit card information and cleaned me out. Being left with just ten dollars remaining in my account at the worst possible time, my confidence went from a 10 right down to 0 in a matter of seconds. Overwhelmed and with no dedicated plan of action, my mind caved immediately to distress. Scrutinizing my own actions, pondering the what-ifs, questioning the whys; effectively indulging myself with negativity.
Then I began to write.
As I wrote, I felt the sense of defeat grow, uninhibited. Using the pain in my mind to vent was easy, as I had more than a steady supply of anger to fuel me. As my fingers hit the keys and the text solidified as content, I even got to a point of impatience with my mind’s inability to produce fierce enough language at the rate my heart desired. After exhausting my conscience, I stopped, taking a moment to read what I’d written so far so that I could maintain the same feeling throughout. In this moment I began to read. More importantly than that, I started to comprehend.
What I’d written was not me.
What I’d written was not what I represent.
The words I’d expressed did not at all reflect the vision I had of myself as a writer or speaker. It did not maintain the message I am devoted to sharing, one of positivity and productive action. Instead, they were the surfacing thoughts and dismay of a mind manifesting the symptoms of depression. I’m no stranger when it comes to depression, it is a battle I have silently faced for many years of my life. With all of the things I aspire to be and the pain associated with reaching far beyond your comfort zone to attain them, gloom can easily find a crack through which it can slip in. Yet, I rarely have moments where it can be overwhelming to a point that I can’t maintain control over it. While rare, these events still happen. Blind to this circumstance and intent on letting my mind run awry, it always takes some time before I can recapture my resolve and adjust my attitude.
My saving grace has been the resilience and discipline in remaining optimistic that I’ve cultured over my lifetime. These traits are the backbone supporting me in the lifestyle I’ve chosen. Once I am finally aware that I am on a negative tangent, I’m already started on the route of repair. Pumping positive steroids into my mentality becomes as simple as dissecting my poor circumstances and reframing them as an opportunity to extract value from them. The strength required to do so simply takes a subjective amount of time to muster up. So, with time and experience I hope to shorten; or even better, eliminate this period. That way, I could immediately flip negativity into positivity without facing any of the ego-damaging thoughts during the in-between. Wouldn’t that be great!
Unfortunately, I am not to that point yet, so I must simply fight past the torment and work up from there. Once my mind wasn’t bogged down by directionless questioning, finding an opportunity wasn’t even all that hard; “So what if I have been hit with this inconvenience”, I thought to myself. “I’ve heard about this type of thing happening very frequently so if I buckle down and get creative I’m sure I’ll be just fine. Once I figure out a solution, I will definitely see signs of personal development that I never could have experienced under normal circumstances”. So just like that, I grounded myself and saved myself an even longer night of internal turmoil.
Unsure of how I would afford food the next day, rather than being upset I was inspired to seize the day. I set a goal to make whatever moves necessary to find a healthy meal, with or without finances. The solution to finding a meal came in a surprisingly unique form.
In the morning I made my usual stop at a local park to begin my morning workout. Now usually, I’d have breakfast right when I wake. But on this day, I resigned myself to worrying about a meal later, as I wouldn’t want to interrupt my day later to squeeze in the training. While walking the path to the more accessible area of the park, I heard a man call out towards me. ”
“Hey, you hungry?”.
I was in such disbelief that I disregarded the call, assuming he was speaking to someone else. ”
“I’m serving breakfast, come on over!”, he resounded, this time completely grabbing my attention. My hunger was fierce, so I immediately made my way over to where he was standing. The man, elderly and sporting a “Vietnam Veteran” cap was accompanied by a small griddle and table prepped with syrup, utensils, and bottled water. He explained to me that he had felt a calling to regularly come to the park on Mondays and Thursdays to serve breakfast, free of charge to the local passerby. Offering me the choice of French toast or pancakes, he began to prepare me a modest plate including two eggs and two very appetizing strips of bacon.
We talked for a bit, I shared with him my ambitions and how appreciative I was of his service and benevolence. He then gave me some interesting background on himself. Our exchange was short but genuine. This man was an inspiration.
I left his station with a smile, but as I sat down to eat something completely unfamiliar occurred. The food was extremely satisfying, but overwhelmingly comforting was an assuring feeling that no matter the trial and regardless of circumstance — in the end, only good would come from perseverance toward your goals, even during times of dejection.
So keep your head up everyone, the world isn’t really so bad.
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Categories: How-to Reinvent Yourself