“It's not about having things figured out,
or about communicating with other people,
trying to make them understand what you understand.
It's about a chicken dinner at a drive-in. A soft pillow.
Things that don't need explaining.”
–ANN BEATTIE, Walks with Men
INNER CITY STORIES
I have always felt the need to improve myself. Having no clue how to do so, I turned to professionals for the answers. I have been going to therapy every other week for the past four years in order to help resolve my personal issues. My therapist has helped me see what inhibitions are holding me back and what successes are pushing me forward. He’s taught me to motivate intrinsically.
Before I was doing so well, I was lost. Happiness was like the water cycle. One month I would rain down in a storm of hopelessness. The next, I would feel elated, my inhibitions evaporating. I rose up to cloud nine. My mood would plummet back down to Earth after what felt like a week of happiness, and I would become a puddle of sadness, confined to my room. I realized that I was able to achieve happiness but not maintain it. Internal effort was no longer enough. I could not lie to myself about my saddened state anymore.
How to be happy and how to maintain that happiness is the question that is driving me now. I want constantly to be inexplicably happy, and unapologetic for being so. I want the sun always to be shining on my life, with an umbrella to block the rain.
This newfound sense of motivation has opened my mind to the future and all the possibilities it holds for me. I have always known that I am talented. I had so many people encouraging me to succeed that there was no way I could not know the broad expanse of my capabilities. Knowing how bright my future could be was equally exciting and terrifying. I needed to live up to the standards I had set for myself at such an early age. I needed to find the source of the light. For so long I was on the brink of death, traveling into the light that I knew would deliver me to something bigger, yet possibly worse. Death scared me. Life scared me. I needed to look toward a future that held more certainty than death.
Accomplishing this was one of the biggest challenges I have ever faced. Finding happiness and reasons to live threw me to the floor, beat me up, and made me more determined than I had ever been before. When I realized that happiness alone was a perfectly viable reason to live, I started to create my own light.
The sun’s rays do not blind me now because they come from me. I bring warmth. I bring light. I am life. I am death. I am what I fear. I am stronger than I have ever been. I want to be stronger.
I still have a long way to go before I am finally satisfied with where I am, yet I worry that the true limit may never arrive. If I never hit my peak, does that mean I am a valley? Or am I the clouds, soaring high above the mountain’s peak, collecting water and spewing it out at will? Am I always the best I can be? Am I reaching my true potential?
These questions torment me constantly. All that I am sure of is that to be happy, one must be the happiness one wishes to see. To be ready for the future, one has to keep going, keep steadily going.
I have not solved all of my problems. I do not think I ever will. Still, personal growth persistently drives me.