As I write that out I have a smilesmirk on my face; those are not words I would have ever thought I could use to describe myself. I feel a little victorious putting them in writing. Anyway...
During that time I had many well meaning and wonderful people who could sense my angst over my PERCEIVED inability to fully give myself to this endeavor (as I would have liked) tell me
" Just do your best"
A phrase I have come to loathe now that I have that time period all figured out in my heart and mind.
The phrase 'do your best' ate away at my tender heart day and night for many months. Truth is during this experience I never felt like I was giving it my all cause there were always people who assumed there was more for the taking. The task at hand truly knew absolutely no bounds and I felt as if my very soul hung in the balance of it all. I had no way to gauge what my best was and so I compared myself to those around me to try and figure it out. Don't we all by now know that old saying 'Comparison is the thief of joy'? ... and so it went.
Well meaning people who used fear at times to try and get results and never ever perhaps saw the human in me. That of course wasn't their job and there is no ill will at all. Just one of those times I suppose in the end blessed me with opportunity for growth.
The longing to be perfect, to never be tired, the untreated anxiety that set me apart at times from my peers really wore me down. The truth is that I did exactly the same as they were doing but it took a hell of a lot more fight than it did for some of them.
Lets be honest, does anyone ever really know if they are giving it their best or not? How do you even measure that? You, like me, probably often feel like maybe you are not and then you are wracked with guilt over thoughts that maybe you could have done better or different .. and you know what! Maybe you could have. But maybe, just maybe that was your best. DO YOU SEE THE CONFUSION OF IT ALL? If you don't please just go away. Hahahahaha. Seriously though.
Awhile ago a dear friend, who has sat literally for hours and listened to me rattle on about life, took the time to write me a letter in the middle of what was a total (you know what) show.
On the hardest of days I go to the bookshelf where the letter is now tucked away and re-read it.
The encouragement in their words are priceless all these months later.
There is no expectation that I should have my problems figured out or that I will even have them figured out soon. No opinions at all if what I was doing was right or wrong.
Just a whole lot of love, understanding and space to work through things.
At the very end of the letter they close by writing Keep.On.Trying.
Words that I have come to hang onto. Words to live by.
We might not always be able to do our best. Maybe our best isn't good enough for those around us. Maybe we truthfully just aren't able to gauge what our best is in times of chaos and uncertainty.
However, we can always always Keep.On.Trying. I always know if I am trying or not. Don't you?
Life ebbs and flows. and ebbbbs. That is the human experience.
Gatsby. It took me so long to learn that. I am a very late late late bloomer as for years and years I have simply assumed that I am unable to put myself together and that I am not the way I should be.
In reality no one is how they should be. If we were we wouldn't be here on earth having this awesome mortal experience.
We all at times are burdened with problems. Despair, loneliness, illness, disorders, longing to be apart of something we're not etc. Sometimes these problems carry on for days and months and even years and in my case I'm quite certain I will die with a few of them.
Other times we think we have it made!!!....
Only to fall right back into the arms of what ails our body's and our mind's.
Depression, apathy, anxiety, addiction, temptation, succumbing to that temptation, uncontrollable urges, self hate, hopelessness, crisis of mind or faith to name just a few.
Sometimes we fall again for seemingly no reason at all. Out of the damn blue come periods long and short of strife that cause such frustration! Threatening to destroy the strides we have made.
Our wins seem few and triumphs seem fewer.
I realize now even in the darkest of times that I can always keep on trying. Every single day is the opportunity to do so. After months and months I can see progress in areas that have been such a struggle because I gave kept on trying. I am on a path of progress. A never ending one. Gains and losses. Ever inching forward.
That in my book is a TRIUMPH.
That's all friends.
Keep On Trying.