It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

If you’re looking for a sign, this is it. I’m telling you, right here, right now: it’s okay to not be okay. All too often nowadays, we feel this pressure to always be okay; to never feel down, never let ourselves feel ANYTHING; to always be cheerful and happy and upbeat. We feel pressure to always answer the question “How are you?” with “I’m fine/good/great/whatever” instead of the actual truth.

Starting today, allow yourself to truly feel whatever it is you’re feeling. It’s okay to be sad about losing a loved one, a friend moving away, a job change, finishing a good book, whatever. It’s okay to be hurt. It’s okay to be upset. It’s okay to be angry (as long as you aren’t physically hurting anyone.) It’s okay to be happy.

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The Love Letter Project

I’ve had this post saved in my drafts for some time, but I finally feel like I can dedicate the time it deserves. This post is a response to The Love Letter Project:

“Consider the greatest challenge you’ve overcome in life and write a love letter to help a perfect stranger overcome that same challenge. I’m asking you to write a love letter because your personal story will make a powerful difference in the lives of others. You could write a love letter to anyone: an entrepreneur who is struggling with her first business, a man who has lost his job, or a child who is being bullied at school. Write a love letter about a challenge you faced, and you will touch hearts, lift spirits, and show the world that no one is alone.”

My letter will be posted on TLLP’s website, but I wanted to post it here, too. It seems like the site hasn’t been updated in some time, but hopefully it will be soon. In the meantime, here’s my first letter – and I hope to write several more. This really seems like such a wonderful project, and reaching out to those who may be struggling with a challenge that you’ve overcome in your life is an absolutely wonderful way to help the world.

Without further ado, here’s my letter.

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The Journey of Recovery

Just over a year ago, I decided to be brave, suck up any bit of courage I had, and share my store of my struggles with all you lovely Internet folk. At the time, that was arguably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done – but looking back, I’m glad that I did it. It’s been just over a year since I posted that piece about my struggles with depression, anxiety and counseling… and I thought it was time to check in, and see how this chapter of my life is going.

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Progress Doesn’t Just Happen

Sometimes, when I get writer’s block, I venture over to StumbleUpon to see if anything jumps out at me that can spark my writing. Today, I got what I needed: a page from Temple University with a quote that began “Progress doesn’t just happen.” How true is that, really? In any aspect of our lives, progress doesn’t just HAPPEN. There needs to be a spark, something that pushes us along, ignites the way.

We can look at this in any aspect of our lives. Take, for instance, my writing. Progress doesn’t just happen. I’ve been writing for years, and years, and years. Over those years, I’ve become a better writer, more confident in my abilities. In driving, progress doesn’t just happen – it’s simple, but it requires some gas, a foot on the pedal, and a functioning vehicle to get us wherever it is we’re going.

The same is true of life. Progress doesn’t just happen. It requires hard work, determination, and a can-do attitude. You won’t get anywhere if you’re just standing in one place; you’ve got to move, to better yourself, and too keep going, no matter what.

That’s how I’ve gotten to where I am today. Do you think two years ago, when I was in probably some of the worst mental shape of my life, I would’ve ever been able to see myself where I am right now? No way. Today, I’m something I call “happy.” I feel more confident in myself. I’m enjoying life, and I can see a great potential in the future, too. It wasn’t an easy road to get here, but I did – with some hard work on my part, determination to see better days, and a strong refusal to give up.

I guess in the end, I feel like I’m ranting right now, but my point is this – in whatever you do in life, keep going. Progress doesn’t just happen; you have to work for it, but if you do, good things will come.