Month: December 2014

Some Snapshots of My Life

When I first created this particular blog, I did so with the intention of keeping my identity somewhat concealed. I suppose I was just paranoid about people in my “real life” finding my blog and reading these deeply personal things about me and using them to judge me. I think this is the kind of paranoia that comes with being hurt by people and wanting to do whatever it takes to avoid being hurt like that again. But what I’ve realized is that I have nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to this blog and what I write on here. And if people from my life off of the internet happen to find this thing and read my words, I hope they read them knowing that each thing I write on here comes from a place of sincerity and vulnerability and wanting to use my own life experiences to connect with others.

So, in the spirit of being transparent and, maybe more importantly, being unafraid, I’ve decided I’m no longer going to hide my face. No more hiding, and no more being afraid. I stand behind everything that I write on here, and hope that those who read my posts stand with me and support me.

With all of that being said, here are some recent (and one not-so-recent) photos of my life as of late. Nothing too exciting, but I wanted to post today and have been writing some heavy stuff, so I figured maybe some photos would be nice. I hope you enjoy them.

This picture is from September, but I came across it as I was looking for photos for this post, and figured I would add it. I took it while walking across this bridge to my apartment one evening. There were these beautiful lantern lights hanging all the way across the bridge. The lanterns have been replaced now with the flags of different nations, which is also pretty cool.

This picture is from September, but I came across it as I was looking for photos for this post, and figured I would add it. I took it while walking across this bridge to my apartment one evening. There were these beautiful lantern lights hanging all the way across the bridge. The lanterns have been replaced now with the flags of different nations, which is also pretty cool.

This photo is pretty dumb, but when I was studying for finals a few weeks ago and taking notes, I looked at my hand and noticed all of this ink. Oh, the joys of being a left-handed person.

This photo is pretty dumb, but when I was studying for finals a few weeks ago and taking notes, I looked at my hand and noticed all of this ink. Oh, the joys of being a left-handed person.

A shot of one of my favorite ornaments from my family's Christmas tree. I guess I just love the pretty colors and glittery-ness!

A shot of one of my favorite ornaments from my family’s Christmas tree. I guess I just love the pretty colors and glittery-ness!

Steak and Shrimp Scampi from The Cheesecake Factory to celebrate being halfway finished with law school.

Steak and Shrimp Scampi from The Cheesecake Factory to celebrate being halfway finished with law school.

Just a selfie of myself that I took in front of my family's Christmas tree. I look a little washed out because of my phone's flash, but would you look at that hair?! I'm damn proud of it. Well, most of the time--when it cooperates.

Just a selfie of myself that I took in front of my family’s Christmas tree. I look a little washed out because of my phone’s flash, but would you look at that hair?! I’m damn proud of it. Well, most of the time–when it cooperates.

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Clenched Fists

I’ve written this post a million times. A million times. I think I keep writing it because I tell myself that if I just articulate what I’m thinking a little better, things will click and I’ll be able to change this part of myself and everything will be better. But when it comes to this one part of me, I’m stuck in a vicious cycle out of which I can’t emerge, and it makes my life infinitely more difficult.

What I’m talking about is my inability to let go of things, to brush them off of my shoulders with my head held high and keep pressing forward. My tendency to hold on, with clenched fists, to toxic memories, feelings, and beliefs, letting them paralyze me and cause me to react impulsively and with the kind of reckless emotion that often gets one into trouble.

I’ve had some pretty serious conflicts with people this past year, conflicts that have ruined friendships and burned bridges. Conflicts that have left my stomach in knots and contributed to that deep depression I wrote about in my last post. And while people like to say that time heals all wounds, right now I’m not quite sure that I believe that sentiment. Admittedly, many of the wounds to which I’m currently referring are pretty fresh–they’ve happened in the past several months, the past year. And some of that is just going to hurt for a while, without any available cure except for time and reflection and wisdom.

But what concerns me is that I tend to hold onto things, the big things and the small things, a little a lot longer than is probably healthy. I let them eat me alive and I torture myself with thoughts of all of the different ways things could have turned out if I had done something differently, or if someone else had done something differently. I let myself keep hurting and suffering, while knowing at the same time that the other parties involved are not giving the situation, or me, a second thought. And so, at the end of the day, it’s just me sitting here with my fists clenched tightly around this shit, this baggage, while everyone around me goes on like it never happened. I’d be lying if I said that knowing this fact doesn’t drive me absolutely insane. I want these people who hurt me to sit right here with me with their fists clenched around this shit, too, until everything is fixed and better and we ALL can move on.

But that’s not how these kinds of things work. Sometimes we get left behind in others’ dust, and we can either clean ourselves off and keep going, or we can stand idle and look around in bewilderment at the fact that the world is continuing to turn, even if we’re frozen in our despair.

It’s funny, in that last paragraph when I started to type the line “Sometimes we get left behind in others’ dust, and we can either clean ourselves off and keep going…” I originally had typed something like “…and we can either clean ourselves off and catch up to and surpass those people…” I caught myself when I typed that because there I go again, making all of this about other people and comparing myself to them, rather than focusing on myself and what I need and what I must do. Sometimes people shit on you and there’s nothing you can do to make the force and effect of that action any more bearable. You just have to move forward.

But that’s my problem — I have the hardest time moving forward, really moving forward, when something bad happens to me. Even the little things…I just can’t push them out of my mind, or at least a little more towards the back of it. I suspect that some of this has to do with my anxiety, and I often have to remember to forgive myself for all of this to some extent because trying to overcome difficulties is hard enough, but even harder when you have a disorder that tends to make every little bump in the road seem like the end of the world.

I just wish that I had the ability to let some of this baggage go and ease the burden that’s on my shoulders right now. I wish that I had the ability to forget the people that have hurt me so badly in this past year, the same way that they seemingly have forgotten me. I always think of that movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and wish that I could completely erase certain memories from my mind. I suppose that would take care of the letting go problem, wouldn’t it? But I also suppose that would mean losing all of the valuable life lessons I’ve gained as a result of these things that have happened. So, in short, there’s really no good answer to any of this. And here I am, over 800 words into this post, with no better solution or insight than what I had in the million other posts I’ve written on the same subject.

I wish I had an answer, though — I’d love to know what it’s like to face the world with open arms.

-T

Comeback Kid.

Oh, hi there. I guess it’s been a while since we last spoke, huh? I’m sorry about that. Law school doesn’t allow for much blogging time, and even when I do have a few spare moments, most of them are spent trying to fit in some extra sleep, or clean up my apartment that looks like it has been abandoned, or run other errands that have been pushed to the wayside. However, I finished up the semester last week, and can finally sit down and put words on this screen without feeling guilty about having other work to do.

I know that around this time of the year, people blog about their reflections from the last 12 months, and I suppose I’m going to feed into that cliche topic for this post and talk a little bit about what this past year has been like for me.

In short, 2014 was a year of pain, incredible struggle, and redemption.

Around this time last year, I was reeling from my first semester of law school and the heartache and unbearable depression that it brought. I don’t know how I survived that time, to be honest. I remember quite vividly the many days and nights I spent crying in bathrooms, my bed, my car, on the floor, etc. I remember hiding, literally, from the world as much as I could, too hurt and ashamed and depressed to face other people, to watch other people thrive as I fell with full force toward rock bottom. I remember my inability to stop my body from pouring out the seemingly never-ending stream of sorrow inside of me. I remember it all, and I have no idea how I survived it. I really don’t. There were days when I truly believed I would die from all of that pain. But I didn’t. I’m still here, and I’m still fighting, and I’m better, even when I can’t always recognize that I’m better.

The one thing I’ve realized this past year is that you have to fight for your life, as hard as you possibly can. You have to kick and scream and claw and pull your way through when things are tough, because that’s how you survive, it’s the only way you can survive when you’re falling. If you’re lucky, as I have been, then you have people along the way who help lift you and make the climb back up from the depths a little easier. But, ultimately, you have to do most of the work yourself — that’s how you gain strength and experience and wisdom — all things that will make the fight a little easier the next time around, because, of course, there will be a next time. Maybe, and hopefully, it won’t be so bad the next time, but life is full of valleys and peaks, and it is our duty to weather them both the best that we can.

And so here I am, bloodied and bruised and scarred, but finally feeling a little sunshine on my head as I rise from those terrible depths. And I’d be lying if I said that I’m not completely terrified that this feeling won’t last, that the other shoe is going to drop and I’ll be right back at the bottom again. But, interestingly enough, I feel that maybe I’ll be better equipped to deal with that day if and/or when it comes. I guess I’ve always been a fighter in that way, but have never had to test my strengths as much as I’ve had to this past year. It’s funny how life reveals those kinds of qualities about yourself to you when you need to realize them the most.

I’ve spent much of this year keeping my head down, working hard, and trying to prove to myself that I’m worthy. Worthy of what, you might wonder? Well, worthy of anything at all, I suppose. Worthy to be in law school, worthy to be loved, worthy to take up space on this earth and in the lives of others on this earth. Just…worthy. Worthy at all. And I think that I’ve proven that to myself in some ways, but not in others. I hope more than anything else right now that I can continue to reveal to myself my worthiness in this life. Because believing that you are worthy makes the fight so much easier to tackle.

2013 was a year that I was happy to say goodbye to — my attitude toward that year was, “don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out!” But this year, 2014…in some odd way I have an attitude of gratefulness. Things were revealed to me about myself that I so desperately needed to know, people were brought into my life that I believe saved me, truly saved me, and I made a comeback in some really important areas. It was not an easy year, and it was not really a happy year, but it was a year of progress, and for that I can’t be anything other than grateful.

So, here’s to 2015, and the continued progress and healing that I hope it will bring.

-T