As a college graduate and a recent resident of the golden state of California, there are many problems I find myself facing--most of them stemming from the financial. College loan repayment is upon me, employment is harder to come by, and the adventurous spirit I am is feeling stifled by monetary insecurity. Besides the obvious problems of a financial crisis--paying bills on-time or even having enough to pay them at all--I've noticed repercussions showing up elsewhere because of this financial stress.
A lack of place of employment leaves me with nowhere I have to go. Staying at home, for me, promotes laziness. I have no set times for anything, nothing to add much structure to my day. And anything that could be added to the stark emptiness that is my schedule, I have become too lazy to do. Working out is rare, picking up my pastels sometimes feels like a chore, my guitar is collecting dust, reading seems mundane, writing, an uninspired task. Instead, I sleep longer than I should, I watch TV, and I eat.
I may perhaps be exaggerating this. Most days are better than others. But analyzing my recent activity, I feel a little disappointed. I am a talented and driven individual. What happened?
Here's where I turn to the good things in my life--the positives that are actually there, hiding beneath the negativity I've observed:
I moved to Northern California because this is where my best friends are. The job I currently have allows me to work remotely so I could move closer to people I love. And it's simply an added bonus that the weather here is absolutely beautiful.
The other day I had a conversation with an old friend from the Midwest and she told me something that struck me. "You're different," she said, "a good different. You've all these things going on, these problems you're dealing with, but instead of a 'woe is me' attitude, you've got this peace. You're stronger. It's in the way you're explaining it all to me, it's in your tone."
And she's right. I am different. In hard times, it is easy to focus on the elements that make them difficult. I have been focusing too much on where I’m falling short. Sometimes what you need is a friend to help you get perspective. She pulled me out of my immediate problems and helped me see the bigger picture. I am an artistic individual who is continually honing her craft, even though it feels like I am only drawing or writing out of frustration (which is actually a good source of creative fuel). Though it may not seem like it, I am working as hard as I can, and that’s the best I can do. Patience is a key to life, and the good things will come. In reflection, I'd like to share with you three things I've come to realize:
Being brave enough to make changes in your life goes beyond the initial big decision. You’ve got to have the courage to make all the microscopic or larger still choices that follow. It’s a struggle, but the result is something beautifully worthwhile--a deeper understanding of who you really are.
Which leads me to two:
As much as you think you’ve grown up, you learn every day how much more room you have to grow.
And three, perhaps the most important thing I’ve come to realize in the past several months:
Finding peace in the midst of chaos is possible when you keep company with love and some pretty amazing people. People who can help turn your negative perceptions on their head and help you see things as they really are.