Saturday, September 8, 2012

Even When You Don't Think You're Making Progress...

There's a reason for the saying "hindsight is 20/20". It truly is. I find I look on my past relationships, jobs, friendships, and such with so much more clarity than I had at the time. It's tough to fully understand something when you're in the thick of it. Plus, the more you experience in life, the more you can view a situation with perspective.

However, I feel that it's also very important to see where you're making progress as you go through a journey (which really, is life in general). I'm a person who, while I believe in enjoying what you have at the moment and not constantly wishing for more or regretting the past, also believes in constantly  learning and adjusting as needed. 

Whether you suffer from a mood or anxiety disorder, or are just trying to improve/get through a troublesome portion of your life, I think it's important to take stock on a regular basis of how you are improving. Many of us tend to be very good at knowing where when we aren't where we want to be, but I feel most of us sell ourselves short. 

Lately, I've found myself saying a few things (complete truths) that surprised even me. Please keep in mind, I'm a planner by nature, and for a living. I am a type A, somewhat anal retentive personality who hasn't left much in my life to chance until the last year or so really. I've always been a very left-brained, logical thinker. I've also gone through a lot of sh*t in the past 12 years or so, and been brought down by quite a bit of it. But these following statements have passed through my lips repeatedly in the last few months, and I'm astonished - and couldn't be happier. I'll give context where needed.

  • I don't really have a plan for the weekend. I don't want to have to plan every minute, just see what happens and go with the flow.
  • I'm just a happy person. I love life. I've gone through a lot of really tough stuff, and I wouldn't change anything because I really love who and where I am now. 
  • It's really important for me to be able to spend time with just me. I've learned to value my alone time. (Though obviously, I don't want to be alone all of the time). 
  • I have found that whenever you try to plan too hard for life, it throws you a curve ball. So I have dreams and goals and action steps, but I am always ready for an adventure. (On having a set life plan). 
  • I am not a complicated person. I say what I think, nicely, I'm very open, and I don't want to over analyze things.* 
  • I have all of this creativity wanting to get out and I just need to figure out how. I know it'll probably be something odd or weird. (I've never thought of myself as particularly creative/artistic. As I wrote in a recent blog, I'm suddenly thinking of myself as more creative and not sure what to do with it.). 
*Here's the catch with this - my condition is complicated. I won't say that I'm always easy to understand due to this. But, I'm no longer nearly as much of an analyzer, and I'm so much more confident and open, that minus when my condition rears its ugly head, I feel so much easier to understand. 

I'm not writing this to boast about myself. It's not my style. Plus these things are only "positive" because they're where I personally want to be. Not everyone does. The point of this blog, though, is that even when you're not sure if you're getting where you want to go, stop and take a look at where you are. See if you notice a slight shift in your attitude towards the positive. See if you have  conquered even just one small fear. Take a look at your general thought process, your energy, and  even the things you say to others. If someone came to you with a fear, anxiety, down mood - are you  able to talk to them and help them through it? That's progress! It means you have these ideas in your head which might help you on a difficult day. 

You may have occasional "break through" moments where everything seems clear, better, like it's guiding you in the direction you want to go. Certainly take advantage of these! However, most progress creeps along, without you noticing it until you stop to look. So stop and look. When you notice that you  say something that surprises you in a positive way, write it down - journals are great for this! You'll start to notice the slow change and allow yourself to look back and think, "look how far I've come!". 

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