Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Miscellaneous thoughts (Part 13)

~ I haven't written a "miscellaneous thoughts" post in ages. It's good to be back.

~ Try not to regret investing in your health. It's outrageous and unfair that sick people have to deal with financial stress on top of being sick, but an investment in your health and well-being will always be a worthy investment.

~ Also, don't regret what you create. Your creative contribution is an important part of your story and who you are.

~ Progress is never linear. Healing takes time. Growth takes failure.

~ Pain ends. And you will be tough as nails when it does.

~ If you're doing your best, you're doing enough.

~ I'm starting to realize that romantic love is pretty subordinate in comparison to all the other types of love you can have in your life. When you have romantic love, it's all-consuming and feels like the most important type of love there is. But when you lose it, you find love in so many other places. Within yourself, in the presence of family and friends, in the little moments that make life more bearable, and in the little reminders that you're not alone after all. You can still be in love without being in love.

~ Closure is overrated. Just let go and know that you deserve to be happy and free. That should be closure enough.

~ There's no shame in having a day job while you do something you love on the side. Just don't let the day job eat up all your time and passion. Remember why you have it in the first place.

~ Feeling things deeply is not a flaw. It's a character trait that more people should possess in this narcissistic, mean, and crazy ass world.

~ Be nice to your parents. They mean well. (There are obvious exceptions to this, so don't take my word for it if your parents are assholes.)

~ Take your medicine, eat at least three meals a day, give yourself a break when you're tired, and don't let other people tell you how to feel.    

<3 Madison

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The trouble with instant gratification

I constantly crave instant gratification, which is a very common issue in society. We want what we want, and we want it as soon as possible. And we often end up taking the worst possible paths to get it.

Selfishness. Entitlement. Manipulation. Impulsiveness. Cheating. Lying. Self-destruction.

I've resorted to nearly all of the above at one time or another. All because I was too impatient to be patient and too consumed by the hard parts to focus on the forthcoming good parts. I wanted instant gratification. I wanted results. I wanted a straight and easy path to healing, success, personal gain - whatever I was after at the time.

But here's the thing: Being patient and doing the messy, less than pleasant work of achieving or acquiring what you hope to achieve or acquire is really, really, really, really hard. 

Progress takes time, work, and a lot of steps in the wrong direction. I'm learning and re-learning that there's no magic formula, no grand answer, and no obstacle-free path to success and happiness - or anything else for that matter. You can't push people out of the way. You can't resist what needs to happen just because it's not happening the way you wish it would happen. And you can't avoid the truth. You can't avoid what is waiting to be discovered.

I feel like I'm climbing a mountain in 90 degree heat, guys. I'm so tired. I'm so overwhelmed. I'm so thirsty. I have cuts and bruises all over me. When I stop to rest, I feel both grateful for the stillness and panicked that I'll never reach the top, never see the view, never bask in the sunlight of victory and growth. And that's when the familiar urge for instant gratification creeps in, begging me to find a short cut where there isn't one or encouraging me to quit altogether when I've already come so far.

It's so challenging. I have days where all the fight has left my body and all I can do is cry. But for every day I don't believe I can make it, I have a day where I manage to find my innermost strength and willingness to try really damn hard anyway.

What I'm ultimately trying to say is this:

I know your journey isn't always easy, and I know the search for instant gratification is tempting. Love hurts, money is scarce, amazing opportunities are difficult to come by, we live amongst a chaotic sea of questions with only little islands of answers scattered here and there, and personal struggles have a cruel way of haunting us, no matter how much progress we made yesterday, last week, last month, or last year.

But hang in there. If it's hard, you're doing it right. If it hurts, it's working. If you're taking the long way, you're on the right path.

<3 Madison