Beware: Life is a Rollercoaster… Hold on Tight!

Sorry I haven’t written in a while, it has been a stressful couple of weeks…

IMG_5744.jpgThe other night I got to thinking about how life is a series of cycles. Like good or bad things coming in threes, stress filled weeks are followed by weeks of boredom, or you go through good moods only to be chased by anxiety ridden days.

This is only looking at the small scale. If I zoom out and look at my past I can see the cycles my life has taken up till now. Like how growing up I was a quiet shy child that liked to play sports, but never truly felt like she fit in. This was followed by middle school and high school where I still played sports, but was extremely outgoing and boisterous. College was an interesting play on these, I was living thousands of miles away from home and figuring out who I was. I was at a point in my life where if I was stressed out or nervous I would go for a run or work out. I didn’t really drink in undergrad (that came during grad school), but I was very active in sports, working, and school. Honestly, I look back sometimes at everything I did in undergrad and I wonder how I made it all work. This was also a peak in just one of many of my life’s cycles.

Then came a series of pretty major stressors that just came in a bad combination. One major one, was that I shattered my right ankle. As cliche as it sounds, you don’t realize how much you rely on something until its gone. I went from working out 5-6 days a week, training for a half marathon, and doing crossfit to not being able to walk to class. Instantly my outlet for nerves, stress, distraction was gone. I was able to deal with it for a while and do little things to keep me active, but I was reliant on other people to take me to the grocery store, and was forced to depend on myself for the majority of things. Since I lived alone I had to figure out how to do everyday tasks like washing my hair, entertaining myself, and cooking decent food when all I wanted to do was lay down and elevate my extremely swollen foot that constantly hurt. At one point I got so tired and frustrated of being cooped up in my apartment that I crutched down the 6 flights of stairs to my car with my laptop in a backpack, drove to a Whataburger that was a couple blocks from my apartment using my left foot (which is dangerous and I don’t recommend to anyone), watched a movie on my laptop in my car while I ate, and then crutched back up the six flights of stairs to my apartment.

The point is that even after I broke my ankle I wasn’t able to do rehab on it for another 6 months, so I effectively wasn’t able to work out for roughly a year after it happened and had to find other things to take its place. This was a major shift/change in my life cycle to a less active life style. This phase was followed by graduation and a succession of 3 moves to 3 different cities in 3 years, which did not lend to a good routine building as much as I tried.

That was 4 years, a Master’s degree, an internship, 3 jobs, and 5 moves ago. I have finally been in the same place and the same job for over a year and feel like I am getting into a more active lifestyle or at least wanting one, which is the first step.

All of these moves and cycles I have gone through have each taught me something and has made me grow and evolve as a human. It has also helped to reflect on what each of these cycles was and how I got to where I am today. This reflection has shown what choices I have made and why, what I want to change about myself, and how I want to shape my future. I wish I could get back to the shape I was in before I shattered my ankle, but I also realize now that for the future I want that isn’t very realistic. I also feel like emotionally I would not be where I am today if I hadn’t had that experience.

In the long run life is a game of pluses and minuses, it is up to us to decide which column events in our life fall and how we allow them to impact us. And if we don’t like where we are life inevitably changes and we just need to be ready to ride the waves or steer in a different direction.

Invictus

William Ernest Henley, 18491903
Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
      For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
      I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
      My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
      Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
      Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul.

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