“If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” ― Lao Tzu. Funny thing about the past…revisiting it can bring back all kinds of dark twisty things you were certain you had long moved on from. What’s up with the moody intro quote, you ask? Well folks I went to my 10 year high school reunion a couple weeks back and boy did it stir up a lot of shit. If you have been a reader for a while you know I have a fun little unpredictable ongoing battle with anxiety and depression, that I don’t talk about too often. It seems to rear it’s ugly heads when I expect it least, and always surprises me with how long and hard it sticks around.
I consider myself a well adjusted human being. I let a lot of things roll off my back, don’t let what others think of me bother me too much, and rather move forward than muster up unwanted emotions that may lead me off the deep end. Peter has really helped me evolve from the anxy teen I was when he first met me, to the cool, calm and collected young adult(ish) human I am now…and boy am I ever thankful for that. That being said revisiting who I was then, and more importantly how I portrayed myself and was viewed by my peers and even teachers then, left a yucky stinging feeling in my heart. As those of you who deal with anxiety and depression may know, they rear their ugly heads in waves, and the tide can take a long time before it is still again. Recently I have felt tired, a little unmotivated, overly sensitive, and easily triggered. To put that into perspective, the episode of The Walking Dead I just watched, has lead me into enough of an existential crisis to write this post as honestly as I am right now. So instead of feeding the bad, I am going to give myself the advice I should have been hearing, facing, and believing since that day I came home feeling sorry about who I used to be.
As much as I may feel like I’m still 16, I am not...and that is a great thing. I have become a kind, open hearted person, who is always there in times of need, but wise enough to never be taken advantage of. I have grown to idolize women of substance who have taught me I am strong, capable anything, but most importantly that I am enough. That I should never dumb myself down for the comfort of others, or to make sure the joke lands at my expense. That though I may be underestimated, my worth, intelligence, hard working nature, and skill will no longer be…and to those who still think me a fool and dismiss me, are simply missing out. My accomplishments are my own, and their greatness cannot be syphoned by disbelief. Others' words and actions do no control me, they do not affect me, and most importantly they do not define who I am. As much as I may feel like I’m still 16, I am not…and that is a great thing.
So I am going to let the young girl I left on that pedestal all those years ago step down, and step up there myself. I am going to keep her joie de vivre, open heart, and faith in people, but realize that the change I have nurtured within myself is one of my greatest accomplishments. I am going to acknowledge the growth that has happened to her in the past 10 years, and will no longer shame her for who she was. We all think we know everything at that age, and isn’t it interesting to see how wrong we were…and how wrong we’ll probably be again looking back 10 years from now. Yet again the cliché seems to bring forth the most concise truth. I am who I am today, because of who she once was. Because of what WE went through, and the mistakes WE made. So it’s time to forgive her for them, and be at peace living in the present. Hey! if Lao Tzu said it right…
Gucci sunnies and shoes, Zara suit, Forever 21 sweater, and Dior "Saddle" bag.