Bravery and Blooming: Lessons from 2016

I have tonsillitis. It’s New Year’s Eve and I’m laying on my couch at 7 p.m. in a weird, time warp daze because of the copious amounts of naps I’ve taken and I’m angry. New Year’s Eve is my favorite. I love celebrating the end of the year, regardless of how good or awful it was. If it was good, I get to feel a full heart of wonderful memories. If it was bad, I have hope for the future.

So, since I’m not out and about tossing back a sour beer or two, I thought I would write for enjoyment and see if I can process through any life lessons I may have picked up through 2k16. 

First, I learned how to ask for help and how to receive help – from the right people. When you’re a young adult, a lot of older people will take it upon themselves to influence your life. They will think they are doing you a favor by telling you how you should go about job searching and networking, how to invest your money, advice on your living situation and even how to handle your relationships. These people think that because they are older than you, that they have the right to force these opinions onto you. Here’s the thing, you’re young. You’re going to assume all of these people have the right answers and that every word they say is for your best interest. Take a step back. Before taking advice from someone simply because they are older and have more experience, consider if they know your current situation well, if they know your personality, and how one choice you make will influence the other areas in your life.

It is important to understand that some people genuinely care about you while others simply care about having their opinions heard.  The ones who care will follow up with you. They will help you figure out your next steps and will take the time to understand the bigger picture of your situation, not just the fragment that is under scrutiny. Ask these people for help when you need it and then, implement their advice. Do not waste their time by expecting them to do all the work. Show them their time and effort is being put to use by advancing yourself.

Being brave does not happen overnight. In the real world, a brave action can take months of build up. It is not always a quick decision, acted upon under extreme circumstances. I lived with depression and anxiety for almost a year before realizing how huge of an impact it was having on my life. Then, it took me another six months to work up the courage to seek help. It took me me six months to be brave. Seeking out help to become healthy again was the bravest thing I have ever done and the slow process getting there does not cancel out my bravery.

Whatever it is you are working on, lean in to the process. Quickness does not equal bravery. Slowness does not equal bravery. Overcoming the obstacles holding you back from becoming a better person, no matter how long it takes you,  is what makes you brave.

We do not bloom year-round. The seasons were created for a purpose. Trees loose their leaves, plants lose their flowers and the world looks bleak. So do we. Savor the season. Your season may not match up with the rest of the world’s, but you will find yourself in a place that is lacking fruit. You’ll feel dry and weak. You’ll wonder what you’re doing wrong. Why can’t you be in a good mood anymore? Why can’t you feel God’s presence right now? Why is everything suddenly more difficult than it was a month ago, a year ago? Beating yourself up during this time is not useful. Instead, utilize the season to your advantage. Personally, in my season of drought, I surround myself with candles because I love their smell, I spoil myself with good books and I allow myself to be introverted for as long as I need. CAUTION: do not allow yourself to wallow in your drought. Once you’re revived and feel as though you can take on the world, get back out there. Again, it may be a quick or slow process, but do not allow the season to turn into a place for sin to settle in. Know you’ll bloom again, put yourself in the right environment to bloom after your season of barrenness.

“Do you feel anxiety in the trees? Do they feel anxious that they’ll never have leaves again, that they’ll never bloom again?”

 

 

**If you’re new to my writing, here is a warning: I do not edit. I understand some people may be bothered by my lack of correct grammar or my inability to pick up a thesaurus, but I don’t care. I love to write. I hate editing. I know it sounds better after editing which is why I do it for important stuff, but this blog is for my enjoyment and I’m cutting out all the things that I don’t wanna do because it’s mine, so there.

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