‘…. always has been, always will be.’
I’m writing this blog after an amazing couple of weeks. I said to someone earlier that the first few weeks of 2014 have turned out better than the whole 2013 combined…I didn’t expect it but then how can you expect things to happen when you’re not sure what they’re going to be.
First of all, I got a job.
It didn’t feel like it at the time but it was the start of me starting to believe and be more confident in myself and my abilities. It’s a carer’s job, I was never quite sure whether I wanted to go back into care. I’d had quite a rough time with my previous job and I wasn’t sure if I still wanted to do it. But I applied and I got it. I know it is a tough job, not for the fainthearted. You are helping people who are going through a difficult time. People who are away from home, having to deal with illnesses that debilitate them and having to trust themselves into the care of others. It is a job that you have to emotionally, mentally and physically prepare for. It’s something that you have be willing to go the extra mile for. It’s a commitment.
And yet that doesn’t freak me out as much as it would have. I feel sometimes you have to step into that unknown place. You can never be sure what’s going to happen, how you’re going to react to something but you can be in control with how you approach it.
I’ve decided that all I can is do my best, as long as I make sure I’m doing the best that I can and the rest is simply not in my control. And that’s ok, not everything has to be.
Secondly, I passed my driving test.
It might not seem a big deal but to me it was a major thing. I’ve been able to drive for a while now, every time I went on lesson here was really nothing the instructor could teach me anymore. I knew how to drive but passing the test was a huge problem.
My nerves basically got the better of me. Basically, every time I sat in that car for test I had panic attacks. I don’t know whether it was the stress of wanting to do my best, of trying to control a situation I really couldn’t.
I don’t think I’m a huge fan of not being able to handle things myself. I like to be able to know exactly what’s going on and then finding the best way to deal with it, so having to deal with a second unknown situation in the space of one week was pretty scary for me.
But after my test, after finding out I’d passed, I looked back on how I’d handled it and actually I’d changed my attitude. I knew I couldn’t predict what was going to happen, I didn’t know where I was going or what was going to be asked of me. But I knew that had the ability and I knew that all I could do was my best. So I just took one minute at a time. I didn’t rush, I didn’t panic. I actually believed I could do it, that as I couldn’t prepare for the route I’d just have to prepare myself for each challenge as it came up.
And by actually trusting in my ability (something which I find hard to do with anything), believing that I despite not being able to predict what would happen ahead, I could control the way my mind handled it. And, to my amazement, that worked!
Ever since, January last year, my mind has been something that has created problems in my life. Depression had completely overwhelmed me. My belief in my self, in my abilities, in my ability to be able to handle unknown situations had completely disintegrated.
So for me to actually start to not let that part of my mind control me but to get a handle on it and to keep it under control was a massive step in what’s been a long recovery to get back to a life that looks forward and not back.
Thirdly, I’ve met a guy who appreciates me for who I am, someone who I haven’t been afraid to let into my life.
I’ve written before about how my trust in other people had also kind of disappeared. It felt like it was just me against the world and the only people I’d really trusted to see me as who I really is, especially at the beginning of last year, was my family.
It wasn’t that I didn’t want other people in my life but I didn’t want them to see me as who I was. For a long time I’ve never really been able to fully be myself with anyone else. I often held back a little bit, thinking that if they really got to know me, they wouldn’t like me.
And then I met Toby. The only way I’ve ever felt comfortable talking about myself has been on this blog, so I created an online profile. I was sceptical about meeting someone online. You hear so many stories of people who meet people who aren’t who they say are. And actually I had met a few people who said one thing and meant something else.
Then I talked to Toby, a completely normal, funny, intelligent guy. Someone who didn’t seem to want anything other than getting to know me. So when he invited me for a drink, I thought why not.
I was worried, when I first arrived at the pub we were going to meet. What if I didn’t like him, what if we didn’t get on? Then he was there and he hugged me. I felt comfortable already with him. We weren’t trying too hard to impress each other, we were just being natural, ourselves. And he liked me for who I was, he made me feel comfortable just being myself. We basically clicked.
It’s been a few weeks since we first met and it feels as if we’ve known each other for ages. It hasn’t been an effort in fact it’s been incredibly effortless. We’re just taken it a step at a time. And it isn’t a scary thing, I’ve found someone who I don’t have to second guess, someone who I feel entirely comfortable with. And someone I haven’t been afraid to be the real me with.
People have said, man that’s really lucky, but I don’t see it as luck. I see it as not being afraid to take opportunities as you get them. Knowing that you can’t be in control of everything and knowing that facing the unknown is not scary, that it’s okay to be yourself and you don’t have to change who you are to move forward in your life.
Hopefully, that’s something that I can continue to do and then I can really start believing that good things come about because you’re not afraid to go for them not because they’re not there.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.