Remember, Recover, Rise Again

Disclaimer: I haven’t blogged in a while – I felt like maybe it was starting to get a bit tedious and I didn’t want to write insincere ramblings for the sake of filling a post.

So the old year closed and we’re moving right on to a new one. Last year at this time I was consumed with the anxiety of planning a wedding and applying to grad school. The past year in general was one filled with extremes of emotions – my experiences were either very good or very bad. I lived the worst and best days of my life in just 12 months. As the year ended I found myself having a hard time (again) convincing myself that what I was doing was making sense, that I was making a difference…and that more importantly, the amount of money I made wasn’t in any way related to my personal value – I have no idea why that feeling is so hard to shake…

The happiest day I’ve experienced thus far was the day of my wedding (yes that’s cliched but it may not be for the reasons you think). Saturday  25th April, 2015 was the day I experienced the most amount of genuine positive emotion from others. Whether it was nostalgia, happiness, goofiness, love or general empathy, that was the day I felt like no one was lying or faking or putting up a front…everyone was true to the overwhelming warmth of the moment.

My lowest point was reading the last of a string of scholarship rejection letters – the final nail in the coffin of my postgrad plans. I’ve spoken about this already in past blog(s) so I guess that makes it old news. I won’t dwell on it but what I will say is that every day is a struggle to prove myself, a battle to define what “leaving a legacy” means, and a psychological tug-of-war that determines how I feel about myself, how I rank my worth as a person and how value my actions. That’s pretty intense and morbid, but honestly we are our hardest critic – I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way.

2015 was also the year I truly learned how adaptable and resilient I was (I am). This whole concept of “falling down 7 times, but standing up 8” really brought it home for me. I had the biggest, wildest dreams this year, then time after time I achieved, and fell short.

  • I got into amazing universities but then I didn’t get any of the scholarships I applied for.
  • Me and a friend tried to raise awareness for the plight of the scholars in Trinidad and Tobago and while it lasted a while I felt we were misunderstood and we opened ourselves up to so much hate and negativity – I can’t even begin to explain.
  • I was promised a contract renewal after doing the bulk of the work on a project, but then I never heard back.
  • I landed what I thought was a career-starter job in the government but instead…it wasn’t (to say the least).
  • Time and time again I sat and thought to myself “you’re just not strong enough”, “why can’t you just be like everyone else” – We breakdown ourselves more that anyone else does.

In the end though I think I got back up in time accomplished a few things.

  • I was 100% true to myself, and my emotions.
  • I restarted blogging.
  • I started Holistic Learning Center and offered private, remedial, needs-based tutoring.
  • I’ve published monthly newsletters for the past 3 months for Holistic Learning Center, which outline educational debates and issues.
  • I started my travelling adventures with a trip to Dominica.
  • I started planning 2016 travel plans to Tobago and set a goal with my husband to go travel once per year to somewhere new.
  • I bought my first car.
  • I planned my own wedding.
  • I got accepted to Harvard University and Vanderbilt University for different masters degrees.
  • I received grants and assistantships from these universities (but LOL at still not being able to pay tuition)
  • I stood up for my rights as a consumer and became more (respectfully) outspoken in “not taking crap” from businesses.
  • I continued to be wholeheartedly willing to help others.
  • I changed my plans, adapted to my financial situation and was accepted to University of Nottingham for a blended masters degree (MA Special Needs Education) that mixes distance and face-to-face learning – which I will be able to pay for 100% on my own.
  • I started planning and saving for 2017 travel plans – spending a semester at University of Nottingham *fingers crossed*
  • I worked harder to stay close with my family despite moving out.

I fell down a kajillion times…and stood up whatever number of times is greater than that – #quoteme

Anyway I’ll stop there before people stop reading my lengthy blogs altogether. Sometimes I feel like I didn’t accomplish anything, and listing these right now didn’t give me an “Aha!” moment. As a young person who’s battling anxiety while striving for self-actualization amidst an innate and habitual compulsion to self-doubt, 2015 has truly forced me to define, redefine and push the boundaries of understanding what it means to feel good about myself. I think however in 2016 I need to give myself credit for the little things or the things I would usually dub as insignificant because naturally I don’t see myself as being significant. I have to rage against myself, and my unbelievably instinctual tendency to beat myself up – in the brain, at least.

(photo credit)

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