Sunday, February 12, 2012

Staying Sad

February is always the point in winter where I start to get sick of the cold. I get sick of the snow, of scraping my car in the morning. I get sick of having to wear big winter jackets and of going through so much windshield washer fluid. If there is snow on the ground it is usually filthy by this point. It has lost it's pristine, sparkling glow that has always been able to mesmerize me with its beauty. A fresh, clean snow fall is one of the very few things I actually enjoy about winter.

Source: Deviantart
February is when I start to dream of summer. Or heck, I'd even take spring at this point. The days start to get longer and the snow starts to melt. You start to notice the sounds of birds chirping in the morning and the bright green of the tulips fighting against the snow to get some sunlight. It's the season that represents new beginnings. We get the urge to make changes in our lives; to re-invent ourselves. Normally by the time February rolls around people are starting to get restless. We want spring to happen. We want to be warm again and to look forward to the transition from winter to summer.

This year it is different for me though. I have always been the type of person to want to improve. I've never truly been happy with just being in the moment. I have always felt the need to want something more, to be something more, and to get over being sad or depressed as fast as possible. I mean, c'mon, who actually wants to be sad or depressed? Who wants to be stuck in the same old habits or be down in the dumps all the time? I think most people do everything they can to avoid feeling anything uncomfortable. I know I did for the last 24 years of my life.

But this February I have decided to change that. Instead of yearning for the warmth of the sun and the changes that spring time always brings, I want to be completely present right now. No more avoiding the uncomfortable moments. No more pretending to be happy when I'm not. I think everyone can learn a lot from just letting themselves be sad/lonely/depressed/etc. The more we try to ignore it or push past it the more it will build up inside of us. We should revel in the beauty of being sad/lonely/depressed/etc just like we revel in the beauty of being happy/joyful/content/etc. It is so cliché to say but we would never experience the highs without the lows. We would never know warmth or happiness unless we had experienced cold or sadness. But not only do we need to experience lows in order to experience the highs, I think we need to experience the lows to know that we can survive them.

Almost everyone I know lives in some kind of fear. Fear of failure, fear of being hurt, fear of letting people down. Fill in the blank for the fear in your own life. So we hold ourselves back. We would rather never take a chance at something we really, really want because we might fail. We might have to go through an uncomfortable experience. But what if we have already made it to the other side of an uncomfortable experience? What if we survived being sad/lonely/depressed/etc? I truly believe that if we stopped pretending to be happy all the time and let ourselves experience the "bad" emotions we would no longer live a life of fear. We would have no need to hold ourselves back from what we really want because we would know that yes, even if I fail and become lonely/sad/depressed, I know that I can live through it and be happy again.

It has taken me a long time to finally be ok with feeling the bad. To really give myself over to being lonely/sad/depressed. I know that it won't last forever and that I'll be better for having gone through it. So spring can take it's time IMO. I want to live in the now, in the coldness of winter with my sorrow, so that when spring time comes, I'll actually be ready for the changes it will bring.

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