something to think about

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that I've been down in the dumps these past few months. I wish I could say that it's just me being a typical overly-emotional girl but it's not. I've been going through a lot of heavy stuff. (Thank you all for respecting my privacy here. It means so much.) On top of that, when I'm sad, I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew in terms of my workload and my goals. I always manage to make it work but it gets overwhelming. Silly, right? My coping mechanism ends up giving me more grief in the end. Last night, I hit my breaking point. Up against the ropes with a ton of deadlines, dealing with personal and relational issues and conflicts, sad news from the orphanage in China, and the heaviness of the attack in Boston earlier this week were all mixing together to create the perfect storm and a misunderstanding with a former client became the tipping point. I was absolutely at an all-time emotional low and cried harder than I have in a very long time. 

Although they're the worst when they're happening, moments like this are my favorite because it's there, with snot flowing out of my nose and with my entire body aching from the tenseness, I see hope. They say that things get worse before they get better. That may be true but sometimes and for some people, things get worse and worse and worse and don't get better. Nothing grinds my gears quite like that one person who says "It'll be okay in the end! If it's not okay, it's not the end!" That sentiment has us all in some strange limbo full of what-ifs and tomorrows. I would definitely know because I've spent a ton of time there. The sad truth is that things won't get "better" sometimes. Around the world, terrible things happen every day. Human beings, children, live in some of the worst circumstances-- circumstances that we can barely even fathom. I could never imagine my privileged self saying "it'll get better" to any of them, because honestly, I don't know if it will.

Something that I'm lucky enough to have learned at such a young age is that the task at hand is to not wait for things to get "better" or to even try to make things better but to find happiness in every situation, in every circumstance. Over the course of history, the survivors were the ones who could find their summer in the midst of winter as opposed to the ones who died waiting for spring. That may be a harsh metaphor but think about it: you can't change circumstances but you can change your outlook and your actions. I'm so encouraged by James 1:2-4: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." So beautiful. Trials shape us. They mold us and although they're painful, we emerge from them so much stronger.

The song above, I've listened to it on repeat for about an hour. There, with tears stinging my eyes and the unmistakable lump of suppressed raw emotion in my throat, I realized how pathetic I really am to dwell on my sadness when there are people struggling everywhere. It's okay to be sad, it really is, but dwell on it a moment too long and it becomes toxic. What the world needs now is a loving hand. I took a step back and looked at the very real pain in my life and realized that it was turning me into a calloused and cloistered shell of the person I actually want to be. In my despair, I was isolating myself from others who may (and absolutely DO) have real struggles also. Nothing recalls the compassionate and caring side of human nature quite like a disaster and I'm certainly guilty of needing one in order to wake up. Tragedies serve as a sort of reminder that there are others out there and we're all co-inhabitants of this lone life-sustaining planet. They bring us together before the tear us apart again. Tear us apart as they may, they do bring us unity, if only for a very brief time. After that, it's up to us.

Now that I'm nearing the end of this post, I'm not entirely sure why I wrote it. A rule that I have for myself (and also probably a general rule of thumb for all of those who write?) is that I have to have a purpose. Yeah, super duh. But I suppose there are exceptions. I needed to get a lot off of my chest and perhaps there are nuggets that you might glean from it in its somewhat-disjointed glory? If I had to sum it up, I would with the words "All will be well." Things might not get "better," but you can.

much love,

p.s. I need to brag about how beautiful my hometown is. The photo up there was taken from the bridge that I cross every day; it's less than a mile from my house. I must say: it's easy to forget about the sads if only for a few moments by spending some time with nature. Definitely try it some time.


  1. What a sweet song to cheer up to! This made me kinda emotional because I know exactly how you feel. I used to hate it when people said things like that when I was upset. You're absolutely adorable and have a very clever way of putting things into perspective. Everything happens for a reason, and I truly believe that.

    Stay strong, even if that means breaking down and letting it out, and know your readers have your back :)

  2. i'm with you - i'm alllways thinking even if it gets better, it might get worse 50 times first. and for some people it doesn't. i always think of that. i think in the end it's good to know the reality of it, but it makes it hard to lift your self up sometimes! hope you are able to find happiness in the small things.

  3. it's hard to find the balance between accepting sadness and dwelling on it too long. i really hope you find peace and contentment soon, my dear.