I want to begin by stating, first and foremost that I am not, in any means asking for sympathy when I write this blog article. I will also try not to ramble or rage or create confusion. I want to make it clear that this blog article is nothing but my thoughts and a few fleeting feelings that I have, in a rear change of circumstances, been able to grasp onto as my head spins out of control and takes my heart along for the ride. I want you to understand by the end of reading this that sometimes; it is ok not to be ok.
I haven’t posted any new blog articles in a while because that is just how I see them; articles about my travels along a narrow road among vast mountain ranges with nothing in my possession but a foreign map no one can read clearly, a slowly fading fire that spits and flares inside of me and a heavy heart of pipe dreams to keep my feet walking forward. This blog was written with the purpose of showing people that they are not alone, not as alone as we can sometimes feel even in the biggest of crowds. It is to show people that I myself have faced a great deal in only a matter of 20 years and that sometimes; even I can be overcome by darkness.
As much as I want my life to be purpose driven, I want this blog to be purposeful; I want it to make a difference in younger people’s lives. Why?
Although I know I had many loving people who took the time to listen to my troubles, I also know that many people are doing life alone. I want this blog to reach those people; the ones who are simply trying to find out what they would like to do in their life time and what they are purposed by God to do.
But with that said, I cannot help but feel hopelessly confused and lost from time-to-time and that can make me very frustrated; frustrated by the simple fact that I am human and am floored to have doubts. I can no longer hide that I have a sense of dwindling faith, which realisation has in turn prevented me from keeping what small level of faith I can hold fast to. I feel, sometimes that I am taping my own mouth shut so that the truth, the emotions that I cannot pin point but unquestionably feel, don’t leak out and speak darkness when I should be speaking light. Sometimes, I can forget that God is life and God is the light that can keep me out of the dark. I feel that saying that I am ‘ok’ is easier, that if I were to begin to speak the truth, I would never be able to stop. If I were to answer truthfully the question on everyone’s lips as we greet each other and converse, I would end up an ugly mess upon the floor, a mess that would be so worthless to anyone that it would easier for everyone to just leave me there.
Honestly I am surprising myself that I am able to write any of these thoughts down and if I manage to press the publish button, I will be gobsmacked. But I am also surprised to read back over the blog posts I have published since beginning this endeavour and cannot help but question where I got the writing talent to express my thoughts and feelings so articulately; to express myself so well after years of struggling to comprehend how anyone can spell let alone write so eloquently. And the feedback, the responses I have received in the last few weeks has brought me a lot of comfort as it reinstates that these things I have on my heart are importantly gifted by God as topics of conversation, as issues that need to be addressed and as things that need to change. I am glad to have chosen this topic of conversation; it is difficult and I am already struggling to stay on track as to the purpose of this blog; that sometimes it is ok to not be ‘Okay’.
It has been a popular saying and has been used for quite some time now, I think thanks to the award winning book and hit movie by John Green, “The fault in our stars”. The expression, spoken by the two main characters as a promise to one another, has become this mantra, this powerful four letter word that is to confirm to oneself that even though you have every right to hate the travesty that your life has become, you are indeed going to be OKAY, if only you can believe it.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love John Green, I love the book and loved the movie and cried along with every other TFiOS fan; but I don’t agree with the message of promising to be Ok, entirely.
Yes I believe in the power of positive thinking and love the idea of having a special promise with the one you love and I even know how vital it can be to stay strong in the face of travesty, but one shouldn’t have to bottle their feelings or hide the pain. I mean as John Green writes in the very book in question, ‘pain demands to be felt’.
I appreciate that I have people I can unload to but even then I am petrified to do so; to unload. I hide how I feel behind the wall of illusion I created from years of being judged. You see when I was growing up I couldn’t hide my feelings and had little control on my emotions. If I got angry, if I got upset or if I couldn’t make sense of the emotion I was feeling, I screamed and cried. It meant that everyone could tell how I was feeling but myself and no secret was ever my own for long. My actions spelled it out for all to see. So I learned that even if people suspected something being wrong, I could hide the truth, I could say that all was ok with a big happy smile and a quick change of conversation. But lately it has felt difficult to even fake it. It has become more challenging to say I am ok. I feel so tired and so drained and hate that I have a wall up. Hiding it all, keeping it all in is painful and draining and I hate the weight of it. I hate the very word. I hate that I am struggling and that I don’t feel comfortable to tell anyone what is really happening in my life. I feel overcome.
I am nothing more than a 20 year old girl who – will admit that from time to time – sits down in the dark of the valley and questions the possibility of simply sitting there forever. I look at the path ahead of me, which right now, is dark and misted and I stress out. In these times I find rest, even if only temporary, rest from life. I let the darkness take over. Because I am not moving, the world is not moving and although it is an illusion, a lie that I could happily stay in that valley forever, I like the darkness. In truth, in those moments I cannot be bothered; I just cannot care.
That I am writing any of this is an accomplishment, it is so rare for me to articulate my feelings but I just want to say once again that I am not writing this just to vent or rage and hopefully it is not a messy ramble. I am writing down my thoughts today in this blog to show that sometimes – even for me who talks about faith and the importance of self-belief and having inner-strength – it can all become too much.
I haven’t been able to think of anything meaningful to write about in weeks and that is a terrible thing for a blogger. I didn’t have anything to say, not anything worth reading anyway. But then I was reminded of a song by artist Jessie J that mentions the line ‘its okay not to be okay’ and that sometimes we can become lost amongst the stars. I mean we live in a world that is so visual and I am constantly challenged to remember to believe and not to see, because seeing is deceiving. I lose myself to my thoughts, negative thoughts that have been placed there by this world; by a world that points out what I don’t have and what I should, a world that tells me all the time that yes, it would be easier to sit down and never walk another step again.
But I think my sitting period is slowly but surely coming to an end and I hope that if you are feeling a similar way that you remember this; it doesn’t last forever, this feeling of emptiness, of lose, misdirection, tiredness. Just as I believe happiness is a fleeting emotion, that is a collection of memories that have burned themselves in the back of your mind, I believe that this illusion of rest – this grip that has you stuck in the darkness – is not strong enough to ever trap anyone for long. Jesus is the source of life and light and as it says in John1:4-5, no amount of darkness can overcome His light. Use His source of light and let it comfort you, let it guide you out of that valley. I was having a slow weekend. It may have turned into a slow week but that was all it was. Remember to put your faith in Him because although we can become stuck in a slow week, no amount of darkness can overcome the light that God has gifted to us by God standing by us.
If you are ever feeling like it is all becoming a little too much, too much to hide behind a wall inscribed with ‘OKAY’, please contact someone – a friend or family member that understands what you may be dealing with. Contact me and let me know how you are feeling if you feel that maybe no one else would listen. And as it says in Matthew 5:14-16, we are created to shine His light and think about it, the more light we shine, the darkness were would be. So if you know anyone that is a little down, that is struggling or stuck, I challenge you to pick up what I am putting down and become a difference maker. Please just find someone to talk it all though to if something is stressful because we can’t do this alone. Please just remember that you are, indeed, never alone in this journey we call life and that if you are not feeling ok today; that is ok, put your faith in Jesus – the light of this world – and follow Him out of the darkness.
I want to just finish this blog by thanking everyone for your support and all the feedback that I have received. It is nice to hear that people share the same passion to make a difference. So please, make that little difference in your life that you may make a difference in others and become a difference maker.