I’ve been on a self-improvement kick for the past week. I had been depressed and mopey for a while, hardly able to think about anything but what a terrible person I think I am, how my life is not going the way I’d hoped, how I’m not entirely sure how I want it to go, and how I’m not the person I want to be. Maybe God got tired of it, maybe I got tired of it, I don’t know—all I know is that something snapped in my brain and I thought, “Well, f**k this, I’m just going to be the person that I want to be.”
So I made a list of what that looks like (including things I want to do), and here we are.
. . .
The first thing I intended to do was to renew my focus on God, and draw my identity from Christ, and no other definition I may try to apply to myself. I know there’s been a huge discrepancy between what I think of me and what I know (or should believe) God thinks of me, and it’s been a struggle to make the two meet.
God must be in on these efforts of mine, because He’s been sending me people and situations that drive home a lot of what I’d already been having inklings about. (No, I’m not saying that He made someone die in a car crash for the sole purpose of making a point; it just also happened to teach me something.) After all this time, maybe I’m just now ready to hear it.
Since I made this resolution–and others–I’ve been getting heaps of lessons and perspective, on how pretty-damn-good my life is in spite of its not-quite-what-I-wanted qualities, on how maybe I don’t actually suck as a human being after all, how I need to just take things one day at a time, and how there are people who are *gasp* genuinely glad to have me in their lives. This has been coming from lightbulb moments, words spoken by friends, and words from people I’ve never even met. Heck, I was watching a video taken of one of my favorite actors at Comicon, when he was asked where he gets his inspiration and optimism. At one point, he was talking about taking chances and following your passion, because this is the only life we get and we can’t waste it. Of course, being a Christian, I have to disagree—I do believe that there is another life after this one, and that is exactly why it matters what I do in this one. Still, the basic advice was good. One thing I loved is that he pointed out how caring “isn’t cool” these days, and people think if they don’t care about something, they have less to lose, when you actually have more to lose if you don’t bother to show that you care about a thing, a person, or an outcome. I needed to hear that. I watched that video on Friday, days after I made my initial list of “mid-year resolutions” (or possibly “one-third life resolutions”), and it was one more piece of encouragement from one of many different sources.
There are some things I definitely want to do (like save up to take myself to Paris for my 30th birthday in 2 years), but in my life in general I’m not sure exactly what it is I’m supposed to be doing or where I’m going. But I’m working to be the person I want to be, and taking things one day at a time, and I know God’s got my back.
I’m sure I will still have moments of feeling inadequate, of failure, of struggling with the darkness of depression. I am guaranteed to experience some kind of trouble in my future. “Try to exclude the possibility of suffering which the order of nature and the existence of free-wills involve, and you will find that you have excluded life itself,” Lewis writes in The Problem of Pain. But I won’t dwell on those
possibilities certainties—I can’t do anything about them now. I am taking things one day at a time.