Something happened this week that stirred up some pretty serious issues inside me and caused a few new ones.  In the past I have had a few ways of dealing with these types of situations, and none of them were healthy.

I learned at a young age to shove my problems down until I had a private moment to feel them.  This allowed me to do so in private with no one realizing there was anything tumultuous happening in my life.  It also allowed me to continue to fulfil my obligations and satisfy my responsibilities before I let my world stop for a moment, thereby avoiding a serious rift in relationships, jobs, or school. My mom taught me that breakdowns happen when life gives us a spare moment, and not a minute sooner.  We don’t stop our lives or expect anyone else to stop his or hers because we’re int he middle of a personal tragedy.  We don’t let it affect the world around us, and in no way is it ever acceptable to give up on our day-to-day lives.  Life goes on, and it’s an injustice to hold back a moment of levity because we feel hurt or scared.  It the chance to laugh or smile arises, no matter how brief, we owe it to ourselves to let it happen.  The tears will be there when we get to them.

A couple times this lesson has failed, which ultimately lead to my leaving Drexel University or quitting a job I desperately needed.  I have yet to return to school, and I returned to the job a year later.  My life will never be the same because of the choices I made.  Not a day goes by that I don’t wish I’d better handled those rifts, but I was young.  Hell, I’m still young, and while I don’t pretend to have all the answers the events of the past few days have shown me how much I’ve grown.

Yesterday was a rough day for me emotionally, physically, and mentally.  To top it all off I was at work and the few people within reach were not available.  I had my moments in private and let myself give in once my work was finished.  After a long night of talking with Hubby, sleep that extended hours longer than usual, and a piece of cheesecake waiting for me when I finally emerged from the bedroom I knew I wasn’t past the internal storm, but outwardly I could be strong again.  I also knew I could learn from this experience.

While my typical strategy is to shut down and refuse to let anyone or anything beyond the intricate walls I’ve built since childhood, it doesn’t serve me.  In fact, it’s generally a detriment.  I’ve lost friends, love, and memories.  I’ve hurt myself and those around me.  No, this time I am determined not to let this happen.  I may still have weak spots and tender wounds, but they don’t need to spread to take over my entire self.  I will not let one event tear down all the progress I’ve made.  Instead, I will fight the urge to run and hide.

My new plan?  Levity.  While it is imperative to deal with my injured psyche and spirit internally, because to ignore it would be extremely unhealthy and counterproductive, I will immerse my self in an environment of levity, adventure, and learning.  To avoid letting myself become numb I will stimulate and energize myself with new experiences and old joys.  I will surround myself with people who love me, people who make me laugh, and people who intrigue me.  I will fight the darkness with a brilliant light show that only I can provide.

I have always believed in the phrase, know thyself. It’s been a challenge for me to find her in the darkness, let alone know her, but this time I feel like I’m a step closer.  There is a me who shines.  A me who is strong and resilient, and always has been.  A me who doesn’t just survive, but lives.  I may not know her intimately yet, but I’m starting to see her in a new light, and she is shimmering like stardust in the night sky.  It’s time to let her take over for a while and see what she can do.  What better time than the darkest?

Go now, shine.