Life isn’t always the kindest. Sometimes it knocks us to our knees. We could be walking along one second and the next, we’re down on the ground not knowing what the f*ck just happened. It’s in those moments that we are defined.
The way I see it, we can react in two ways.
We can keep lying on the ground or we can get the hell up and figure out where to next.
This is big talk. It’s really not easy but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. Nothing worth having was ever easy to achieve after all? Isn’t that how the saying goes?
I remember when my dad died and I was suddenly faced with growing up. I had NO idea how to do anything for myself. That’s pretty embarrassing considering I was 23. I was a spoilt little princess. All of a sudden, I found myself joint executor of his estate. No easy task for a daddy’s girl who doesn’t even know how to navigate her way through internet banking.
The defining moment
I think the defining moment for me was when talking to my therapist, and she asked me
“what good has come out of this situation?”
I was baffled and I was angry. I thought who the hell is this woman and how can she ask me such a stupid question? Then I went home. I went home and I felt REALLY angry and I thought about what she had said. I thought about it and I felt more angry. I went to sleep angry.
I woke up and the first thing I thought of the next morning was that I need a new therapist.
Slowly though, as time passed, I started to realise that maybe she had some logic to her thinking.
I started to realise, that what she wasn’t asking me, was to say I’m grateful that I had lost someone so important to me but what she was asking me to do was look past the grief and see what possible silver lining I could clutch to in order to get through the situation. To give me something to cling to. Something to help me understand the situation.
Once this switch had flipped in my head, I suddenly realised that there were things I could look at positively even while acknowledging that the single worst thing in the world had just happened to me.
What that changed in me
Now clearly this is an extreme example of the situation. I hope that whatever is burdening you isn’t as awful as death but coming to this realisation helped me to get through my grief. It helped me to set goals for my life and myself. It helped me to get out of bed in the mornings.
I realised in that moment, that even though I had lost my father, my brother who had also been in the car had lived and that alone was something to be thankful for. There was most certainly a number of reasons to keep waking up everyday and make sure that life carried on.
I also discovered, that I was capable of doing things for myself. This may seem like a small thing to some but to me, it was rather quite monumental.
In that moment, I realised, that I could follow my heart and I could achieve things on my own without my dad’s support. I realised that I could arrange meetings with lawyers and negotiate contracts as an adult and an equal. I think that changed the way I let people treat me too. I was no longer this little girl who relied on others. I was now a major decision maker in a life changing situation.
I definitely didn’t suddenly know how to do everything, I would certainly never be so bold or naive to think that but it gave me the courage to stand up and voice my opinions. To add value to situations that previously I had not thought myself capable of. And that was a profoundly life changing time for me.
Don’t let life just happen to you
Something I always remind myself is that sometimes, things happen to us and they suck. I don’t just mean they aren’t nice, I mean they REALLY F*CKING SUCK. What defines us, is that we move through them. That we address the issue and find a way to move past it because sometimes, that thing happens for a reason and we may never know what that reason is but it’s up to us to decide how we want our story to end.