A heavy heart burdens the mind

11 Apr

It’s not always fun in the sun, projects that need to get done, and friends to hang out with. Sometimes you get a sunburn, you spill the paint everywhere, or your heart gets broken. Or as my mother says, your ego takes over, and your ego isn’t interested in happiness. It’s out there to get you.

Lately I’ve been a bit down. I don’t like when this happens, because it is very true that negativity drains you. It gives you nothing in return except obsessive thoughts, a downhill spiral into a land I am not interested in visiting anymore. When I was younger I spent a good chunk of my life sharing my body and mind with crippling depression. I say this because it affected every aspect of my life for almost a decade. From 1999 – 2008 I don’t think I was fully myself.

Despite that significant portion being a bit of a mess, I have had a great life. I have experienced a lot, I have accomplished many things, and I have loved greatly. But sometimes I can understand people who suffer mid-life crises, because when you look back and see things you’d like to change, and yet you know that you absolutely cannot do that, the damage is done, that part of your life has already been lived… well, it’s a scary feeling. To know that you are only headed in one direction, for better or worse.

And that’s what has gotten me down: forgetting about the numerous good things and focusing on what I don’t have. There are many people that I used to be very close to that I am not friends with anymore. So many, in fact, that a friend once said, “Well, if they’re all doing the same thing to you, maybe you’re the problem, not all of them.” Which made me mad, because who wants to know that they are the source of their problems?

When I went off to college, my only mission was to find myself. I needed to be in a place where my first thoughts weren’t about depression. It took a long time, a lot of searching, and a lot of pain to extricate myself. And during that time, my high school friends moved on. They were able to get it together quicker than I was. I didn’t get fantastic grades my first time in college, I missed the boat on getting into a lucrative career (at least for now), and I gained and lost a lot of friends. In retrospect there are many, many things I could have done differently. And when I tried to make up for my past transgressions, I was not treated with reciprocal respect.

Yes, the piercing sword hurts. But what would hurt worse is if I continue to dwell on these things I cannot change, these friends I will not have again. I have many other friends, and I shouldn’t put them aside to chase after the past. High school, no less. Haven’t I grown up since then? It’s very similar to my romantic relationships. If I had treated David the same way I treated my other boyfriends, we would not be happily married with a marvelous child to lavish our attention over. I choose to make every day the best day I can for our family. I can’t forget to do that for the rest of my world too and know that the laughter and imagination isn’t over yet.

Life isn’t really about what you have and don’t have. It’s about the images you create of the things you think you want.

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