how to be strong

Am I even strong?

There’s a lot I have to learn about strength, and I won’t pretend to have the worst experiences to back up whatever I have to say because I, most likely, don’t.

The last few weeks has been rough for me, and the only time I ever felt like this was 3 years ago. I remember shutting everyone and everything out when I crumbled because I was terrified of being judged, of being deemed as weak then taken advantage of, and I know a part of me didn’t wanna trust anyone anymore. I guess that’s why I ran; it wasn’t just figurative either.

When things started coming at me again about a month ago, I wanted to do the same thing. The feeling reminded me of my worst nightmares, not that I wanna wake from them, but that I wanna stay in them. Surely, they were all better than how I felt right now, but even that’s not an option because I’m stuck — again not just figuratively. This is where I grow a deeper fondness for John Green’s Papertowns. I wish I was Margaux Roth Spiegelman; I’d grab a backpack and a map and just go.

Leave.

It’s not always as easy or simple as uprooting your whole life and physically running from what you think is the problem. Sometimes the problem runs with you, not after you. You’re the key to the problem.

How you handle it lies in your understanding of yourself and what you’re facing. Trust that, and if it’s not too much to ask, trust the people who genuinely care about you too. I made the mistake of walking away when I could have had the support of those who didn’t leave when I was breaking. Not only did I make the the journey unnecessarily difficult for myself, I also punished them immensely.

I’m not suggesting to cling onto someone because I know, in times like this, you’d want to be alone and think, but don’t cut your connections because they may be your lifeline when you’re done facing your beast. Remind yourself that they want to be a part of your life, hardship or not, because they want you to be okay. Their means won’t always be what you need or want, but that doesn’t dilute the concern they have for you.

I won’t act like I have the answers because, if you’re going through a rough patch, we’re in the same boat, sailing similar traitorous waters. All I have to leave you with is the advice that I never got: strength comes in different forms. It won’t always mean facing the problem head on or running away from it completely. Whatever it means to you, remember that you have the power here, even when it feels like a free fall. 

growing old means growing up

Maturity is tricky.

Often I am forced to deal with matters which the juvenile me would rather suppress or run from.Demons that I fear would overpower me once confronted. I convinced myself that if I pretended long enough that they don’t exist or that they’re somehow already fixed, it would just magically be okay.

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 I knew that if I continue with this kind of coping mechanism I’m never gonna grow up. Soon enough my body will be too old and my mind still the same eccentric stubborn 15 year old. I’m never gonna understand why I was wrong or why their wrongs are a worth a second look. I will foster hate in my heart without the promise of any resolution. My fears will get the better of me; they’ll haunt me. The more I deny my problems, my issues and my fears, the more powerful they become.

I refuse to be trapped in Neverland where all hard decision and grueling problems are avoided or bottled up and thrown to the sea. I’m better than that. I know I am. Growing up is understanding that I have problems and although they’re scary and exhausting, facing it is still the best way to move forward.