"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have". - Frederick Koenig

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Making it to the End Game

I don't know why, but even if I have a good idea that something will turn out alright, I typically have a problem outwardly living that reality on a day-to-day basis.  I know this is due to a total disconnect between my flucuating emotional microscope, and the reality of it all, but that really doesn't make things any easier to grapple with.  Sometimes I feel like a heavy rollercoaster that tries to make it over that last big hill in order to get the momentum to spin through the fun loop-de-loops, but instead of a steady and positive movement forward, I seem to stall out somewhere in-between, and those loops seem so much farther away than they really are.

The other day, while feeling like I was in the middle of a pretty big 'life stall', I was searching for an image to accommodate last week's PhotoHunt (which had a topic of 'Digital' - not sure what I was supposed to do with that one), and instead found this.  

This shot was taken almost exactly two years ago today, and is the only photo that exists from that time period as far as I know.  It was taken while on a frantic quest for a 2nd home/apartment in the DC area to accommodate a job shift ... and then what turned out to be two job shifts, a move, a financial crisis, and a total personal meltdown.  In that one frozen instant above though, you would have never known that anything was even amiss.  I look happy, relaxed, and optimistic.  Though I remember feeling the overwhelming stress anyone would feel from any type of sudden life change, I also remember being kind of excited about it.  Things were moving so fast, and held so much possibility (even in the face of a challenge) that I had no way of knowing that I was standing at the starting line of a difficult long distance marathon instead of a short sprint.  I was nowhere even close to even seeing the end game. 

Initially, this mental stroll down memory lane churned up a lot of ugly memories, but the funny & more unexpected thing that it did was to inspire me to remember where it was that I thought I was headed at that time.  Seeing that image of myself, I can recall the ways in which I had been looking at the bigger picture, and trying to put the pieces together in the best way possible to get through to the end game. Though the costs of getting there were sorely underestimated at that time (financial, physical, and emotional), it was exciting, surprising, frantic, and everything that goes with that.  It was also necessary I suppose.

It's actually taken me a lot to rebound from the past two years, and I still feel like I'm cleaning up some loose ends from the fallout.  If someone had told me a year ago that things wouldn't be 'better' by this point I think I may have actually imploded.  Now though, I'm fortunately still in one piece, and coping with everything as it comes along - trying not to let the big things overwhelm (thank you Xanax), and taking time out to enjoy the little things.  At this point, I can actually take a look back at that photo above and begin to see the bigger picture again.  I can feel a little bit of what I was feeling there two years ago - anticipation for the next step, and excitement for the final outcome of this long journey.  I now know that the 'next step' might be more uncomfortable than I would like, and that there may be more hurdles before the final outcome.  I also know more about myself and in that, am (fingers crossed) better equipped to respond to whatever may come my way.  

I think sometimes in order to keep going forward without stalling out, you sometimes have to look back to see where you've been and how you got to where you are now.  In my case, an unexpected look back to two years ago has helped me to remember just where it was I was originally headed, and why I was (and should still be) excited about it.  For me, it seems to be exactly what I needed in order to to keep moving forward.  Given everything that has brought me to where I am now, I can only know that everything really will turn out alright.  I think I knew that in that photo two years ago, though at some point lost sight of the bigger picture in the midst of all the change.  I'm sure there will be more hills to climb and hurdles to jump regardless of time or place, and I'm sure they won't be easy or infrequent. I just hope that with practice I'll eventually continue to get better at responding to them all and keep up the momentum needed to make it to the end game.

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