I didn’t expect our blog's concept of “seeing the neon in life despite beige circumstances” to hit so close to home, so close to the launch of this blog. I guess the fact that it did is a neonlining in of itself though. See what I did there? <----
This is gonna sound pretty depressing, but I’ve fully realized recently that life can really, really suck. Not all the time, or all parts of it of course, but no one will ever be able to convince me that being an adult is all awesome, cause it often ain’t. Just to paint a picture of the last year and a half; I have experienced: being laid off, unemployment preceeding the nightmare of job hunting/being rejected from jobs, the deaths of a family member and a friend, multiple moves, a dysfunctional relationship, a broken wrist (thanks Tahoe ice), problems with family members, dream jobs being anything but, and life plans in general going anyway but the way I had planned them. Oh yeah, and to top it all off, my car literally caught on fire, totaling right in front of me. At 28, my life felt about a million years away from where it should be. I honestly felt I had my life more together at 23.
Not to worry, my story has a happy ending, and I will get to that in a bit. However, before I saw even a glimpse of a silver lining, I had to go through the storm. I wish I could say I dealt with the negative in the best way possible, but that was not the case. My tendency in these difficult times is to keep trucking along, keeping myself busy, giving minimal attention possible to the bad things in an attempt to forget about them, and hope they’ll go away on their own. Instead of dealing fully with issues as they came, this tactic lead to a stockpile of shittiness that, you guessed, eventually came crashing down all at once, because, well, that’s just science.
In the midst of the inevitable crash, I was pretty depressed. I cannot fully explain this feeling, and you might only understand it if you have experienced depression yourself, but it was very strange, dark, and at times felt like I was having an out of body experience. Looking down from above, I didn’t recognize this version of myself. I felt incredibly sad for this pathetic girl I was observing, but had no idea how (or even possessed the energy) to bring her out of the funk she was in.
During this darkest time in my life, my sister called me several times a week. Parents constantly checked in. Friends took me out of the house on adventures when I would’ve stayed in bed otherwise. It took awhile to recognize it, but I started seeing that my silver lining in this bad season of life was being reminded of the amazing relationships I had around me. Despite feeling like everything else in my life was going wrong, I knew deep down that I had obviously succeeded in something I deemed the most important part of living thus far – building meaningful and lasting friendships & relationships with others. It was this single fact that majorly helped bring me out of the stage I was in, and that otherwise, might not have left.
Although I finally did deal with everything that’s happened and managed to come out ok, it was definitely not easy, and did not happen overnight! It’s extremely tempting and easy to dwell on how bad situations are, but I do believe there is always good to be found among the bad. In the midst of everything, I’ve been reminded of so many strengths: how amazing and supportive my family and friends are, that I am always employable and won’t ever be completely without resources, and most importantly, how strong my own strength and resiliency really is. I never want to relive the past few years of my life, and pray that that many bad things don't happen to me again in such a short span of time. But if I do find myself in similar circumstances in the future, I have the comfort of knowing that there are unwavering, really amazing aspects in my life, and that is priceless.
Not everyone has the same neon to their beige. Your silver (or neon) lining may come in the form of a newfound love of yoga because of a horrific breakup you go through – perhaps leading to a second career path, not to mention a hot bod, wink, wink. Whatever your unique path is, it is a conscious choice and not always the most appealing or easiest, but it is essential to find the positive in negative circumstances - the neon in the beige – what this whole blog is about. I promise you, they are present.