Thriving Through the Dark Clouds

To say this year’s been a whirlwind would be an understatement. After 2020, like many did, I thought this year was going to be a piece of cake with things finally falling back into place. I don’t know about you, but boy was I wrong. I’ve found myself facing several difficult times and trying to figure out what my own strengths were. As I continued working from home I realized that “work-life balance” is a loaded sentence. My resilience was put to the test as I faced heartbreak and burnout. After losing people who meant a great deal to me and trying to cope with work overwhelm I realized that life would be so much easier if we were prepared for hardships. Obviously, I’m not naive enough to think we can prepare for the unexpected but it did get me thinking about what kind of person I am and what I need to thrive.

Ever since my college days I’ve been curious about what makes me and others thrive in their environments, more specifically prosper. Just like every other human on this planet, I’ve gone through difficult times where I could feel myself halt in life as the world continues to spin around me. In those moments I knew that if I didn’t make an effort to develop and advance, I’d end up withering under the harsh reality of all that is out of my control. Maybe it was my studies of psychology or maybe it’s the fact that I was raised by two coaches, but the more I tried to find what made me thrive the more I realized I was actively ignoring what I needed. For example, it is a scientific fact that one of our most important life-sustaining activities is sleep yet it’s usually the first thing we’ll forgo to complete other tasks. The realization that I was putting more effort into things that made my body feel like it was in overdrive instead of focusing that intent on my own wellbeing was almost comical. I was pretending that the more I could do for others meant that I was moving forward and not getting stuck in the dark clouds. The reality is that the only way to thrive is by doing what YOU need, not what everyone else does. That’s why this year has been eye-opening, in the simplest term. Being at home and facing myself has forced me to discover who I am and how I function best. Where should I set myself up to work and avoid distractions? What are my boundaries between personal and professional hours? What activities make me feel the most recharged? What helps me get through the tough times? All of these questions became a way to reintroduce myself to myself. It was as though we were meeting for the first time because in a way we were. I hadn’t met this version of myself who was selfish in the best way possible. Who focused on what she needed and what made her thrive. I’m not sure it’s a process that ever ends, getting to know yourself, but I can tell you it’s been one of the most beautiful journeys I’ve ever been on and I hope if I can pass anything along it’s this:

You are an amazing person who is incredibly unique, anyone would be honored to meet you. So why not start with yourself?

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