Tuesday, September 25, 2012

One thing I'll never understand

I stayed up for awhile last night thinking about something that made me feel very sad, angry, helpless and guilty. It's something I'm sure a lot of other people have thought about before. But it has really been eating at my soul.

The world is really unfair.

I'm not talking about people cutting in front of you at Burger King, taking credit for your work or parking in your favorite spot.

I'm talking about people hurting, grieving, struggling to get out of bed every morning, and almost hating every happy or joyous person they come into contact with.

I don't understand why some parents get to watch their kids walk, talk, graduate and fall in love while others never even get to hear their kid say their first word or see them waddle across the room without falling down.

I don't understand why somebody somewhere is watching someone they love come home safe and sound while somebody somewhere else is finding out that someone they love will never walk through the front door ever again.

I don't understand why some people are healthy and others are fighting a terminal illness.

I don't understand why some people are spared from violence and abuse while others have to live with it every single day.

It makes me feel like an asshole for being happy, healthy and knowing that the people I love are safe and within arm's reach. I am so infinitely grateful for all of these things. Obviously. But it still makes me feel like an asshole because somebody somewhere---maybe even in my own neighborhood---is unhappy, or unhealthy, or suffering a terrible loss. It's just not fair.

And it kills me because I know I can't fix it. I've always felt an obligation to comfort people and make things better. I hate seeing people unhappy. My favorite thing about writing this blog is that I am inspiring people and making people feel better and more hopeful. When I get emails and comments from people who have been moved or changed by something I wrote, it's the most rewarding feeling in the world.

But there is so much suffering that I'll never be able to fix. Nothing I say or do will ever feel like enough. I can't bring someone's kid back. I can't rid someone of awful memories. I can't turn back the clock for someone.

Life is chaotic. Terrible things happen to good people---every day, normal people just like me and you.

I've always believed that everything happens for a reason. But I'll never understand why some people suffer so badly while others don't. It will never make sense, and it will never be justified.

Please don't ever take the love and happiness in your life for granted. Please.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Stay on your path.

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." ~ Henry David Thoreau 

Sometimes I feel really repetitive with all this "walk your own path" business. I kind of annoy myself with it. But the whole idea of walking your own path was sort of the initial inspiration behind this blog, so please forgive me as I share yet another simple story that explains why you should always stay on the path that feels right to you. 

As you all know, I sort of took a nontraditional direction in my life---The whole skipping over college (for now) and easing my way into self-employment whilst my friends from high school went off to get degrees and real people jobs.  

I tried following the rest of the crowd and doing everything I thought I was supposed to in the beginning, but it made me miserable. And to tell you the truth, breaking away from the crowd and going in a separate direction from all my friends kind of made me miserable too, in a way. 

Because breaking away from the rest of the group and marching to the beat of your own drum can be awkward and terrifying. And some people won't get it. And some people will think you're weird, immature and slow. And you might feel glaringly different or ten steps behind everyone else. It's not exactly a fun feeling. 

That feeling almost drove me off my little path countless times. I cannot tell you how many times I felt tempted to give my concerned family members and confused friends what they wanted and just go ahead and apply to college or pursue a career that didn't involve me writing about silly stuff like my life, my heart and my soul. SO MANY TIMES, you guys.

But I didn't. I couldn't. 

Despite all the discouragement and alienation, something just kept me going in the direction I wanted to go in. It was almost like a psychological need to keep going no matter what. At the end of the day, I knew I was on the right path. I could feel it. 

So to jump right to the point here, I would like to share that things are going pretty well right now. Work is steadily rolling in. I feel like all I do is write these days. And breathe. And occasionally tear myself away from my writing long enough to have a life outside of it.  

Some cool opportunities have been thrown my way recently. Someone INTERVIEWED me on their blog. (http://www.serenewellnessblog.com/2012/09/a-journey-of-soul-searcher.html) *Thanks Claire!

To put it simply, things are going well. The ball is rolling. Things are moving in the right direction. I haven't reached any milestones, I'm not rolling in cash and I don't have People magazine banging down my door, but things are finally happening---slowly, but surely. 

And I think it's important to celebrate the little victories. Because if you can't celebrate the little stuff, how can you celebrate the big stuff? 

I'm not wanting to accomplish anything huge here. All I want is to be happy and make other people happy while I'm at it. That's all that really matters to me. I want to be able to say that I didn't give up. I want to be able to say that I made an impact and gave comfort and inspiration to people who needed it. I feel like that's sort of what I'm doing right now, you know? 

Keep going. Stay on your path. Just because no one is walking it with you doesn't mean you're on the wrong one. 

<3 Madison

photo by Joost Lagerweij             

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I know what it's like

I know what it's like to feel like no one will ever understand how you feel. 

I know what it's like to feel alone---like you have no one to turn to. 

I know what it's like to feel like a prisoner in your own life, in your own body and in your own head.

I know what it's like to watch something that can never be replaced vanish slowly before your eyes.  

I know what it's like to truly hate yourself. 

I know what it's like to feel backed into a corner. 

I know what it's like to be paralyzed with fear and then beat yourself up for feeling like you can't push through it like you're "supposed to." 

I know what it's like to feel like a giant disappointment to yourself and everyone else. 

I know what it's like to be criticized in the worst possible way over and over again. 

I know what it's like to feel almost overwhelmingly tempted to give up. 

So whenever you feel like no one knows what it's like, I do. I get it. You can talk to me.   

And everything will be okay in the end. Trust. 

<3 Madison  


Monday, September 10, 2012

You should be who you are.

I want to elaborate a little more on something I wrote in my previous blog entry...

"People will not always perceive you the way you want to be perceived or treat you the way you want to be treated. That should never change the way you perceive and treat yourself."

This is something I have a hard time with sometimes. When people perceive me a certain way, treat me a certain way or tell me I should be a certain way, I have a habit of taking it to heart and turning it over and over in my head.

For example, I've been told my entire life that I should be more sociable and extroverted. I used to get judged and left out a lot at school for being the quiet, awkward kid. And I've been labeled as antisocial more times than I can count.

I will say that I agree with people when they tell me I should speak my mind and stand up for myself more, but as far as being a quiet, introverted person, that's just who I am. I've always been that way.

Anytime I've tried to be talkative or extroverted, it has been nothing more than an act; an uncomfortable and extremely awkward act.

It seems as if being quiet is looked down upon. In fact, I think there are a lot of common personality traits that are looked down upon.

I don't like feeling ashamed of the fact that I'm quiet. I don't like comparing myself to outgoing people. It has a way of making me hate myself pretty hard.

I guess the moral of the story is that there is more to people than meets the eye---or ear. The people who have been patient with me and given me time to warm up to them are the people who know what I'm really like as a person. The people who have dubbed me as antisocial after only meeting me for less than five minutes DON'T know what I'm really like as a person.

Not everyone will take the time to get to know you the way you wish they would. Not everyone will like you. Not everyone will respect your feelings and shower you with love and attention every time they come into contact with you. I know it sucks, but at some point, you just have to let go of what other people think. I'm trying to do that just as hard as the next person.

If you're weird, be weird.
If you're different, be different.
If you're loud, be loud.
If you're quiet, be quiet.

There is nothing wrong with you. When people tell you that you should be a certain way or do certain things, don't let it go to your head.

What you SHOULD do is be who you are. You have my permission.

<3 Madison