In one of my past lives, when I lived in Las Vegas, I went through several of the worst times of my life. They emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted me in more ways than I could ever begin to type out. Not only was I going through a whole finding myself, giving everyone the finger, I’m a big girl I do it myself phase when I left but, then when I went out there I soon realized I could do only some of it by myself, went through a torturous custody battle and lost friends I considered family. I was “happy” or so I thought, for about a year and then looked in the mirror one day and could not recognize the person staring back at me. I had completely lost myself and it was one of the most frightening feelings I have ever felt. Then to make it all just so much more interesting and a million times harder I got divorced, got laid off at my job, my landlord raised my rent by $800 so Logan and I had to move in with friends and give up all independence and then I watched the life I had built burn to the ground all around me. The worst part, there wasn’t a damn thing I could do but sit in the ashes and just watch it all play out. I have several dear friends going through so many of these moments in life right now. These moments where everything around you is crumbling, pieces are falling off and there doesn’t seem to be a way to put them back on and you don’t even know which part of your life to try and fix first. I wish so badly I could show them the other side to the worst moments in life. The other side is so much better and so worth all the hard and terrible times. It builds us into a stronger person. And when you look back, you are thankful for each and every single one of those tears you cried, every struggle and every sleepless night.
At those terrible points in my life I was fortunate enough to have several dear friends to lean on, be there for me, let me cry on their shoulders, let me get drunk and ridiculous and even live with them until I could move. I’ll forever be grateful to those friends I still have today. But one of them gave me some of the best advice I’ve ever received. It’s helped in so many other situations where I’ve struggled since then.
He was my cubical neighbor. He is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met, devoted husband, father and all round awesome guy. When I was trying to quit smoking he printed out a million pictures of old women that had been smoking their whole lives and hung them all over my cubical as a reminder that I didn’t want to end up like them. It didn’t work but it was a hilarious and awesome attempt at helping me! Because he sat next to me he could hear me sniffle or see me stare off into nothingness and depression. When this would happen he had a very good cure. He would get his coffee, walk around to my cube, pull up a chair, cross his legs, sip his coffee, look me in the eyes and tell me this, “You have two days. Two days to be upset, cry it out, do what you need to do. Then you need to move on and get over it. Two days darl’n.” Then he would get up, push the chair in and quietly go back to his cube.
The first time, I just sat there like “what the fuck just happened?” Then it started to sink in. He had to come over and deliver this talk to me several more times before I moved back home and it has always stuck with me. It’s advice I have found to be invaluable. To this day when shit hits the fan I give myself two days to cry, get it all out, be emotional, bitch, vent, talk it out, lay in bed, let the thoughts race and then I make myself be done. By the end of day two I need to be done with all that, talk myself through it and then move forward whether I liked it or not. Honestly, two days to throw yourself a pity party is quite a lot of time when you think about it and totally sufficient.
Life is always going to toss us around and throw us off course. It’s going to hold us down and force us through moments that seem endless, without hope and are dark. That’s life, but those moments are just that, they are moments in this life that we live. What it boils down to is that we have a choice. We can give ourselves time to process whatever it is going on, deal with it and let it mold us into a stronger, smarter human being. OR, we can let it swallow us whole and live in misery, never moving forward, never knowing what else is out there and hold us back from letting happiness in. That last part sounds pretty miserable, huh? It is.
We all go through shit, no one is immune, no matter how dark it may seem. Someone else has been there and someone else has been through worse. So, if you are going through something right now, if you're down in the dumps, feeling sad or the next time you do, first of all know that you are not alone. Then tell yourself that you have two days. Two days and then you need to move forward.