Then You Can Start To Make It Better

by Susan Pogorzelski on September 1, 2008 · 0 comments

I feel like I’m in a really bad place right now. I know this isn’t entirely true — I have a lot going for me, a lot to be grateful for, and I’m so incredibly fortunate…for everything. But still, I don’t have any form of stability, and I’m admittedly an emotional wreck.

I know that a lot of this is related to being sick: I feel weak, both physically and emotionally, and I’m almost ashamed of it. I should be able to handle all of this — isn’t that the way it goes? Life throws some curveballs your way and you’re supposed to hit it out of the park, right?

However, it kind of feels like I’m stuck watching from the dugout, and when I do make it out onto the field, I keep hitting foul ball after foul ball. Eventually, someone’s gotta call a strike.

That’s actually exactly how I feel right now — like I need to give up for awhile and just call it a strike. But how exactly do you do that? When do you say enough is enough? When do you just let it go?

I’m not just talking about my career, or lack of one — although that is a heavy, heavy weight — but just about everything in general.  It doesn’t get more vague than that, but I don’t know how to be more specific. Going with the baseball analogy, I feel like I’m in a batting cage, only the machine is at full power and it’s taking everything I have just to keep up, to keep swinging.

I’ve always been in control of my life — I’ve prepared and planned, I’ve dreamed and envisioned and created this ideal that I know is so very wrong to do, but I still don’t know how to give it up, to just stop and let things happen, to not rush it. I’m really good at giving advice — I know all about having to grow up and learning how to let go and be flexible and go with the flow and let life take you wherever…It’s advice I’ve given to others a thousand times before. So why is it so hard to turn inward and accept those as words of wisdom for myself?

I need this trip to France so desperately. I need the break — from the job hunt, from people, from this tulmultuous coaster I’ve been riding. I keep saying that I’m looking forward to spending three weeks writing, but, truthfully, I think I’m really hoping to find myself again. And, truthfully, I’m somewhat afraid that this won’t be the case at all.

I’ve always believed that my first trip to France was a major turning point in my life, that it played a huge part in creating the individual I was to become. I had traveled across France with my high school French class, and as homesick as I was, the experience was unbelievable — not only for the culture and the history, but mostly for what I had discovered in myself.

Before I left, I made myself a promise that I wasn’t going to let my insecurities hold me back — I was going to see everything, try everything, let loose for once in my life. When I returned home ten days later, I was a changed person. In that short trip, I found a confidence I never knew existed and an independent streak that has been with me ever since.

So many positive things stemmed from that trip, and I believe it was all akin to my newfound self-acceptance and independence. I forced myself out of my shell and was rewarded with little successes: I held leadership positions in clubs, met new friends, and even fell in love. For the first time, I was happy and proud of the person I was becoming.

Now, looking back from where I am, I miss that girl. I miss feeling worthwhile; I miss having such a clear vision of who I am, what I’m capable of, and what my future will bring. I miss that strength, feeling like I can take on the world, or at least my little corner of it. And, yes, I miss being in love.

But that is something I know I’m not ready for…Because how can you accept that someone else loves you if you are having such a difficult time accepting yourself? I wish I could have faith in myself, in my dreams, again. Sometimes I think that I’ve forged that shell whole again, and little by little I’m retreating back into it. Sometimes I think that I felt more like an adult back then than I do right now, and I think I miss that most of all.

I fear that I’ve just become so jaded, so weary, that it’s difficult for me to even recognize myself. I don’t know if it’s from feeling so bad physically that it’s starting to affect my emotional state, or if it’s really me, changing.

This is not who I am. And I hope, in two months when I go to France, entirely on my own, I’ll be able to figure out who I am in this mess that is the quarter-life.

Something has to change, and I know that it has to start with me.

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