Friday, September 12, 2014

When giving up isn't failing.

Dark circles, tired eyes. It's all I saw when I looked at myself in the mirror today. The face of an exhausted Juli. I put my makeup on and--let me tell you--no matter how much concealer, foundation, anything you have, you just can't cover up weary.

I want to say that it's been a tough road the last year, maybe the three if you start from my father passing away, but it's been tough for a long time. It doesn't do to dwell on it, though, because I am resilient and optimistic, and for all of the bad, there has been twice as much good, amazing, and unbelievable.

Life spends a lot of time giving us things to prove to ourselves we are stronger than we believe. Sometimes we resist, sometimes we break. Ultimately, we move through it, continue past, and try our best to hang onto our dreams and optimism.

I've learned a lot in the last year about myself, about what I want, about what's important to me. I learned my limitations, I felt what it was like to be at the very edge with only a knife in my face or a cliff behind me to choose from. I also learned that I ended up there because of the decisions I made but also, and more importantly, the decisions I didn't make. You know? The ones you sit and wait while they resolve themselves? The passive ones because that choice is the most favorable one out of a sea of terrible ones. The passive ones can be dangerous ones. Those are the ones that require the tough decisions. The "do I have it in me to do this" ones.

My whole life has been pushing my limits, testing myself, finding a thrill in conquering my fears. Finding a thrill in facing fear itself. There's nothing more exhilarating than proving that I can do something when I feel very deeply that I cannot.

But those passive decisions. Those non-decisions. The maybes, the I-don't-knows, the I'll-figure-it-out-laters. They took me to a place where the decisions were--gasp--even harder. And! Gasp! Even more terrifying. More upsetting.

And here I am. Broken.

Broken. But recovering.

I finally stared down the passive decision that followed me and confronted it. What were my choices? What were the decisions?

I didn't give in, but I gave up.

Yeah, I made the active decision to abandon ship. I picked the unknown. Diving into the waters to save myself.

Now, it's not really fair to say that I came to this decision on my own. Or that I made the decision before it turned dire... but I did it. I made it.

The title of this post is a bit misleading... because what I did wasn't exactly give up. As much as I tell myself that my choice is giving up, when you absolutely give your everything to a person, to a project, to anything, and to not quit it means risking your life, your health, your happiness...

It's not giving up. And it's not failing. (The voice in my head is still saying it is. Oh, that's me.)

What it is, is giving myself the freedom to not be weary. To revitalize myself. To get myself going again. To put more fuel in the tank.

Happiness... guys. Happiness.

Being happy.

Life is short. Be happy, right?

What is the point of being miserable when you have the power to change your situation? When you have the power to find what makes you happy? Maybe you don't always know what will make you happy but... why deny yourself the chance to find what makes you happy by deciding to be miserable?

Those are the questions I've always asked myself. My entire life.

But when the time to came to make the decision, I picked the passive one because I turned off all of those questions. Because self-sacrifice, that's noble right?

Fuck, no.

Because, as my wonderful friend, Jenn, said to me, "We have too few years for that fuckin' miserable shit. Sometimes you have to be selfish to be the best person for your loved ones."

So... just. Don't be miserable if you can help it. If you can fix it? If you know what's making you miserable... figure it out. You don't have to freak out and make a decision right away, just acknowledge what's making you unhappy. Face it. Figure it out. And then figure out how to get from miserable to not miserable.

And then you can figure out how to be happy.

You deserve it.