The storm before the calm

Have you ever had one of those days, weeks, months, or even years where everything seems to fall apart at once? I had one of those “when it rains it pours” stages a few months ago. Every single aspect of my life was going straight down the drain. What made it even harder to deal with was the fact that my life had been relatively easy for the previous couple of years. I’d even jinxed myself by saying, “I feel like I’m on vacation, my life rocks!” I loved my job and I was making a damn good living, my boyfriend and friends were always there for me, I just bought my first home at the age of twenty-four, and my family was happy and healthy.

I had lost sight of all of my dreams and hopes and become swept away in the momentum of my daily life

Then in the blink of an eye all hell broke loose. Due to some very serious personal problems among the staff my job became unbearable, I found out that my homeless drug-addicted mother was pregnant and I was the only one in a position to take care of the baby, my boyfriend told me that if I adopted the child he was going to leave me, my two best friends were on the verge of nervous breakdowns and I was working so hard that I couldn’t even get a full night’s sleep. I was miserable and extremely exhausted, but I didn’t have time to sit down and deal with it all. Every spare moment I had was dedicated to my friends’ problems, this Web site, or more importantly, trying to track down my crazy pregnant mother. It was a very frightening and lonely time in my life, and no one was in an emotional place to take care of me or even help me deal with it. I felt like I was going twenty-four/seven, but for what? And for who? Everything that I was doing was for someone else. What about me? What did I want?

I asked myself that question several times and realized that I didn’t have a clue. I had lost sight of all of my dreams and hopes and become swept away in the momentum of my daily life. I was and had been for several years on automatic pilot. I didn’t think about my future very often, I wasn’t working to make anything happen for myself. I was just sleep walking through my days and slipping deeper and deeper into depression. I knew I was not living my life the way I was supposed to, but I wasn’t sure what to do to get back on track, if I’d ever been on track in the first place. A month into the whirl Then it hit me, I had nothing to loose anymore. Having my life fall apart was the best thing that could ever happen to me wind of drama I decided to fly out to see my little sister and favorite Aunt and Uncle for my twenty-fifth birthday. My Aunt had arranged an amazing family reunion in one of the most beautiful resorts in the country. She got us all full body massages and took us out for mouth- watering meals. We were staying on top of a mountain in Sun Valley, Idaho looking down at beautiful green fields but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t relax. I was a ball of nervous energy waiting to explode. I finally decided to turn to someone for help. I told my Aunt everything, and begged for some honest advice. She looked at me and with one simple sentence sent my into hysterical tears. “Do you still dream about acting?” she asked me. I hadn’t talked to anyone about my dreams in years, not even myself.

Throughout my entire childhood and in the earliest part of my adulthood I would tuck myself in every night with fantasies of acting or making films with my friends. But lately I had stopped dreaming. I didn’t believe in the fantasies anymore, I never thought I would do anything about them so I stopped allowing myself to hope for them to come true. I was too afraid to try. I knew what chasing my undying dream would mean. I would have to give up my home, my job and my friends to move to a city that scared the shit out of me in order to compete in an industry that would spend years rejecting me before I could even get my foot in the door, if I could ever get my foot in the door. Holy shit! What was I thinking? Then it hit me, I had nothing to lose anymore. Having my life fall apart was the best thing that could ever happen to me. The authorities couldn’t find my mother so I wasn’t going to have the responsibility of the child, I had begun to hate my job, my friends would always be there if I needed to come home and my boyfriend could either come with me or say goodbye. He had made it clear that he wasn’t going to be around through thick and thin so I was no longer willing to compromise my life for him. The break down had left me free. I could do whatever I wanted to, there was nothing holding me back anymore.

I had always thought of tough times as a necessary evil, but for the first time in my life I was begining to see that they can be a blessing in disguise. If my world hadn’t been shaken up I don’t know if I ever would have had the balls to go after what it is that I really want. I would have lived with that regret and those “what ifs” until the day I died. Now at least I’ll know that I’ve tried. I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my entire life and I know that I am doing the right thing. It’s so easy to become overwhelmed by depression and let the negativity continue because of hoplessness, but remember, when you lose everything you have nothing left to lose. A tragedy can be the first stage of the best days of your life. Sometimes all the crying and hurt is just the storm before the calm.

Crystal River See all posts by this author
is a world traveled poet and photographer
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