{how to live: eighteen going on twelve}

*apologizes for lack of pictures; slow internet kills*
 
it's been an up and down week.

and I'm discovering that there was no reason for it to be so.

currently, I'm crashing at my grandparents house with my siblings while my parents are out of the state. it's been fun, but it's also been exhausting. I guess you could say I'm spoiled by how awesome my family is--they don't mind me holing away in my room a lot, and they know how to tell when my silence is one of frustration, anger, or just plain tiredness. my grandparents...not so much. I'm really grateful for them for helping bring me up and for being there for my parents over the past three years, but spending ten days at their house isn't my favourite thing out there. In fact, I really didn't want my parents to go (again, selfish and a wee bit spoiled). Because of our up-and-down year so far and my absence over the summer, I was just starting to feel settled in. I didn't want to be away from my parents. I didn't want to be away from my dying dog--who could pass away any time now. I didn't want to have our entire schedule ripped to pieces. But those were all silly, selfish desires, and I couldn't deny my parents their private vacation. It just wasn't fair.

However, Thursday...was a rough day. I wanted to go home. I wanted to sleep in my own bed. I didn't want to share a bed with my sister. I didn't want to feel guilty for having my necessary introvert time when my grandparents wanted to play games with me--which defeats the purpose of introverting at all. Being gluten-free in a non-gluten free household is difficult too--although my grandparents are fantastic at accommodating me, it makes eating out a pain. I was feeling stressed because I'd been given a bucket-load of homework, work was frustrating me, and I was just plain exhausted. I was done, as I told my mother. Just plain done.

My mom is an angel, you know? She's ten times as stubborn as I am, and we've knocked heads enough times to prove it. Still, she listened to me, told me she was sorry I felt like this, and that she wished she was there to give me a hug. Yes, I thought, you're saying all the right things.

And then she pretty told me (in the nicest way possible) to get over myself.

Think about your grandparents, she told me. How would they feel if I went home over the weekend, for the sole purpose of being by myself? I still wanted to go home.

Think about your siblings, she told me. How would they feel if I went home and got to see my puppy and cuddle with her and they didn't it? Call me silly, but I felt a little guilty about this. We're all torn up about the fact that she's dying, not just me. My brother and his wife are watching her right now, so it's not like she's alone and hurting. She's being loved. Why should special allowances be made for me and me alone?

Think about the past three years, she told me. You made it through that, didn't you? Are you saying you can't make it through less than three days after all that?

That was it. The final blow.

And I felt incredibly stupid. And oh so selfish.

the last thing mom told me to do was to tell her three good things that happened to me that day. Being the obstinate child that I am, I told myself there wasn't any. But as I sat there and sulked, one thing after another came flooding into my thoughts, and I was just so sick of myself. I'd gotten a good report on my essay at class in the morning. My sister and I were had a good time watching k-dramas the night before and giggling because of Lee Jae-hwan and his dorky yet lovable face. My eyeliner had turned out nice that day. I'd gotten to edit the great ones and the general for the first time in days. I was going to have a quizzing party with my friends on the weekend. We had some wicked gluten-free muffins for breakfast. My best friend was considerate enough to share a new band he'd discovered with me.

I had all these great things piling up.

And yet I devoted all my emotion to my selfish and depressed and lonely side.

So I survived Thursday. And Friday. And then Saturday. Saturday was amazing. I got to see my friends and have a snapchat party with me (when we were supposed to be quizzing, lol). I got to sleep in my own bed for one night (which was heaven). I got to see my sweetheart of a dog (and though it was heartbreaking to see how skinny the cancer is making her, it was still a joy to see her and hold on to her).

And then Sunday hit.

Sundays are hard for me, entirely because that's when church happens. I know it sounds terrible, but I hate going to church. Correction: I hate myself for not wanting to go to church, because I dread it for very selfish reasons. Have you ever not wanted to go to a social event because you know someone who hurt you very much is going to be there? *raises hand* well, having that social even be church is pretty much the worst, because it's very hard to worship God when you're constantly aware of that person sitting behind you, wondering what they're thinking right now--if it's about you, or if they don't even notice you, like they've been doing for the past year now. Yeah. It's hard. And heart-breaking.

I was all set to slide right back into my gloomy pit of despair (Princess Bride reference for the win!), when I remember Thursday night. I remembered all my good things.

And suddenly, I didn't want to be Little Lizzy Raincloud any more (yes, I did just call myself Lizzy. No, that does not mean you can call me that too.)

So I made especially sure to make Sunday a good day--for everybody. I went to Culver's with my family--a restaurant that I'm really not fond of but is my little brother and my grandpa's favourite--and found a new meal that was both gluten-free and that I liked. Lucky me! I promised everyone an afternoon of games even though what I really wanted was a nap--and then ended up getting both. I got to talk with two of my very best friends--one about very important things and the other in a more whimsical manner. I had so much that never would've happened if I'd continued to be gloomy and sad.

And I guess all this struck me as during one of those conversations--I was texting my friend that I was still happy even though I'd hugged 0% of twenty one pilots (unlike he has...still jealous about that...) and he replied that it's always preferable to be happy. And as I looked back over my day, over my week, over my month...I had no reason to be unhappy.

And that was absolutely mind-blowing.

Choosing to be happy, choosing to have a good mood is a major struggle for me. There are days when I wake up and it's like a Disney movie--all the birds are congregated outside my window, singing cheerfully, Prince Charming has a smile for me, my hair is unnaturally perfect...well, not exactly, but you get the picture. It's so easy to be happy on those days. But on the days where there are storms in the sky and in my life, when the scanner just won't freaking scan, when people accidentally say rude things and I take them personally...it's really hard.

But if I look closer at my life in the midst of the mess-ups...it's still pretty awesome. I have so much to thankful for...and I choose to ignore it.

How stupid is that?

Being happy takes effort. I admit. But it's an effort that's really, really worth it.

So if you're having a crappy day, crappy week, crappy year, crappy life...please look carefully. Because I can almost guarantee that there are rays of sunshine that you're missing by that much.

Comments

  1. *gasp* Thank you! Thank you so much for this! It helps...so so so SO MUCH. Sometimes it's just plain difficult to step outside of yourself and choose happiness, and this is a wonderful reminder.

    Reminders are good. I need them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm sorry you had a less than awesome weekend, but I am very happy that you learned something from it. Sometimes God lets us have set backs, so when we finally learn our lesson, we can spring forward even farther than we could have on our own. Its cruel when we're going through those hard times, but beautiful once we're on the other side.

    Church is a....well, weird place for me. I love it and hate it. Sunday's are particularly hard for me. Either I end up loving them or getting triggered badly there, and not knowing which it will be is dreadful. Its different than your church experiences, but I can relate to the whole "not liking it" aspect. Its always hard when you're fighting with someone and they sit next to you. I had that once. It was horrid. I am so sorry you go through that.

    Thank you for shining that bit of wisdom on me at the end. Yeah life sucks, but there are good things too. Its easy to give in to despair. My whole last week was spent in despair. But there is good and there are beautiful things to smile about. I really needed that reminder. Thank you<3

    Also, if you ever need to rant, you know where to message me :) I'm here for you girl.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh. My. Goodness! Thank you so much for the reminders.

    ReplyDelete

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the best way to make me smile is to comment. or to send me a basket full of kittens and dark chocolate. whatever works for you.

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