The post is going to be quite a confronting one for me to write but I feel it's necessary to share because too often we try to deal with life's challenges alone and I know I personally could really do with someone to help me paddle life's stormy seas.
I'm an action oriented person and anyone that knows me well will attest to the fact I have a great deal of drive and determination. I'm big on problem solving and highly resilient so when it comes to dealing with challenges in life I usually deal with them head on. I've never really had a victim mindset - never asking 'why me?' when things go wrong, and I'm always looking for new ways to overcome any hurdles I face. Progress and moving forward is what I strive for.
But I have a confession to make, these last couple of months I've been in a real funk and only this week I've allowed myself to give it a label and talk about it with loved ones. You see I've been paddling alone for sometime and I guess I got tired, I couldn't do it anymore.
The downside of being a strong person meant that I didn't give myself much slack for feeling low - I kept willing myself to move forward to take another step, to smile some more but I was exhausted - no more could I keep up the facade of being 'fine'!
Acknowledging the journey...
So much has changed in my life these last three years that I haven't really acknowledged or given myself credit for all that I've gone through. The transition from being in a settled life in England to living a single life in Sydney has been more challenging than I ever thought and whilst it's been an amazing experience and I've learned so much about myself, it's been an absolute roller-coaster of a journey. The highs have been phenomenal but the lows at times have been unbearable.
The biggest challenge I have faced is the new level of transience in my life here, I've gained and lost friendships, social circles and groups continue to morph and change. New people come in and out of my life and whilst I love all the new connections, I do find myself wondering if I'll ever feel safe and settled again with a tribe that I can lean on in good times and bad, a tribe that I know will always be there.
The funk these last couple of months has caught me by surprise, I guess two and half years into my life here I expected to be in a different space and I guess at times doing life alone can feel incredibly isolating.
Sharing the load...
The title of this post was inspired by a chapter in the book 'Make Your Bed' by William H McRaven a retired U.S. Navy Seal where he shares stories from his time as a SEAL and the experiences and lessons he learned.
He writes "None of us are immune from life's tragic moments. Like the rubber boat we had in basic seal training, it takes a team of good people get you to your destination in life. You cannot paddle the boat alone. Find someone to share your life with. Make as many friends as possible, and never forget that your success depends on others"
I'm writing this post to encourage you to share and seek help from others when you get too tired to paddle - I've been very grateful for the love of my family this week and good friends that have leaned in to help take over with some paddling whilst I allow myself to acknowledge where I am, share the load and give myself some time to understand that being strong doesn't make me immune to feeling sad at times. It takes courage to reach out and say that you are not OK.
I know I haven't been totally OK recently, but with the love and support of others I know I'll reach my destination in life, I hope you know that you will too.
All my love.
Credit for thumbnail image - Thanks to photographer Atia Naim.