As children, we are told that a simple plaster (or band-aid, to my American Kids) and a kiss will make all of the pain stop. We recklessly run around our care-free lives and we are protected from the true extent of pain that the world can inflict.
But as adults, sometimes plasters and kisses are not enough, sometimes we grieve the loss of things simply because we had no control in their ending. You see, life has a funny way of teaching us how to tackle its challenges, simply by throwing us straight into the deep end and waiting for our bodies to surface for air. But there is no rule book on picking yourself up, there is no guide on how to create something from the ashes of an event that shapes you forever. Instead, you are almost forced to become what is left of yourself and just get through the days….but that isn’t really living, is it?
For the last few weeks, I have found myself awake at four in the morning, scouring the internets furthest corners for an answer to this huge mystery. I have been to the library, I have opened my ears to the advice of my friends and yet it still isn’t good enough. Sure those around us, Yahoo Answers and many self-help books can tell you how they fixed their similar situation…but thats it, isn’t it? It is their version, their story and their answer – not yours.
As I was walking home from work today, an answer crept inside my head and I was totally caught off guard…the answer exists in that very thing that one of my last blog posts addressed – time. It is simply impossible to fix your wounds overnight and it is simply absurd to expect more of yourself than the current moment you stand in. But yet, as I have addressed many times before, the fast-paced, high-pressure environment that is modern day life doesn’t always give us the time we need.
We simply cannot take a week off work because our heart is broken. We cannot check out of paying bills because our life took an unexpected turn and we can never seem to have a total social blackout when all we need is to be alone…the answer that visited my head this evening was that I need to find my own time whilst still remaining as normal as possible. No, I cannot completely escape the world, checking out of life for 7 days and spending the time licking my wounds. Instead, I have to incorporate my new, temporary head space into my routine. It is okay not to fake laugh when somebody is trying to tell you a joke. It is perfectly acceptable to take an hour or two thinking about every last detail in the bath if I need it. It’s okay to not fight the tears and it’s fine to feel hurt…and it is okay, to simply not be okay.
I haven’t discussed with you all what has happened to make me so reflective, so quiet and so retreated, because I want to protect the privacy of myself and those involved. But there is also a part of me that enjoys escaping with you all for a while..and plus, keeping it generic allows you to apply it to your own events and ashes, doesn’t it?
In the words of Coldplay, nobody said it was easy. But, we are here, we are alive and we must take full advantage of that. We must breathe in every single breathe with a grateful exhale of relief. We must grab life with both hands and live. As kids, we got bruises, scratches and hurt bones all the time, but we were naive and we were care-free, so we let go of the everlasting impact and we got back on our bikes, we made up hours after falling out and we never forgot how to laugh. As adults, however, we are stripped of our naivety and the world we live in turns us bitter. Sure, it’s okay to be a little reserved sometimes. It’s more than okay to take some time to nurse your battle wounds..but remember…you will eventually wear those wounds with pride, because you made it through the war.
Finally, remember that things aren’t always lost forever. There is always a way to muster though the grief of the forest and see the sun shine through the clearing again. Sometimes, all it takes is a little bit of light, shining upon what we already have to make us realise that things aren’t so bad after all.
Together, let us remember our precious lives as children, sure we don’t necessarily have mum and dad there to kiss it better, but we have years of living behind us…and we sure as hell have years left!
Keep your chin up, because it means your eyes look up to the sky, not down at the ground.
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